Neale Fenn: There's something more to the Munster Senior Cup. There's something more to the game than a normal friendly

Fri, Jul 24 2020

Neale Fenn is excited for competitive action to return. Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)

Dylan O'Connell reports from Bishopstown.

Cork City will return to competitive action on Saturday afternoon with a visit of Midleton FC to Bishopstown Stadium for the semi finals of the Munster Senior Cup.

The Rebel Army, who beat Munster Senior League First Division side Mayfield United 2-1 in the quarter finals last March, are looking to win their fourth consecutive Senior Cup title.

With Bohemians coming to Turners Cross next weekend for their first game back in the Airtricty League, manager Neal Fenn thinks this cup game is the perfect way to ease themselves back into competitive action.

“It is a competitive game which is fantastic for us,” he said, “We are trying to use every game as a chance to get minutes to get fit. However, there’s something more to the Munster Senior Cup. There’s something more to the game than a normal friendly.”

“We are going to take the game seriously by using the squad we have and we are really looking forward to the game. The most important thing though is the following Sunday against Bohemians.”

“We are going to use the Munster Senior Cup game as a way for us to get us used to winning matches, to get minutes on the pitch, and to get us used to physical contact. We are taking the game very seriously. However, our main focus is the 2nd of August against Bohemians.”

Saturday’s game is a repeat of the 2019 final between City and Midleton which the Rebel Army won 3-1. The Magpies, who overcame Everton, Castleview, and Park United to reach the quarter finals, will be all out to avenge this defeat on Saturday.

“Midleton are a decent team and it won’t be an easy game for sure. This year we have played Ringmahon Rangers, College Corinthians, and Avondale United and they would be on a similar level to Midleton. We have prepared for the game with those friendlies so we won’t have any surprises on Saturday.”

“The most important thing is giving lads minutes on the pitch. You can train all you want but getting minutes is what is most important. Playing games requires a different type of fitness to training and that is why players need games like this.”

The City boss also expressed his frustration at the delayed restart for the league, which he says held up loan players returning to the club.

“The process of not knowing when we would return and not having a fixed date was very frustrating,” he said.

“There was a couple of weeks when we knew the league was going to return but a date had not been confirmed. That was a bit of a challenge as we needed a start date to bring players back from England. We couldn’t get the players back until we had a date back. That put us a few weeks behind.

“Clubs in England were in insisting, and rightly so, that they would let their players return to City as soon as we had a start date. That was the most frustrating part of everything.”

Fenn also highlighted the positives surrounding Irish football going into the restart, which included the new streaming service being offered to fans.

“The streaming service is positive news. It is something we haven’t had before. The league is under promoted and neglected and this will now give a service to people they have badly wanted. The head of RTE Sport came out earlier and said that the proof is in the pudding that if there is an appetite for League of Ireland now is the chance to see it.

“It is a good service with a great price that works out at a euro per game. As long as the production is good and they put on a good show this is going to positive for the league.

We will have a photographer and reporter at boht this weekend's Munster Senior Cup games.