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Cork City v Kerry FC

Matchday Preview – Cork City FC v Kerry FC

Kerry Football Club kick off our second-ever campaign in the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division on Friday evening. This is the first-ever meeting of the sides, Cork City FC re-join the First Division after losing to Waterford FC in the promotion/relegation play-off while Kerry enter their second season as a League of Ireland club.

It has been a busy off-season in Tralee. With manager Billy Dennehy stepping into the sporting director role, Conor McCarthy has taken over the reins in Mounthawk Park for the 2024 season. On Friday night, McCarthy will write his name into the league’s history books becoming the youngest-ever manager (26) of a LOI club, breaking the record held by Stephen Kenny for many years.

The Kerry/Cork rivalry in any sport is always a mouth-watering prospect and to have this in League of Ireland football for the first time has given fans of both teams plenty to talk about in the build-up. There will be a large Kerry contingent in Turners Cross, with a large amount of Away supporter’s tickets in advance of the game

It has also been a busy transfer period for Kerry with the additions of Andy Spain, who was recently named captain, Jack Kavanagh, Victor Udeze, Ferdia O’Brien, Valerii Dolia while Steven Healy and Daire McCarthy joined on loan from Galway United. With a busy pre-season schedule, Kerry should be better prepped for the start of the 24 season. Two wins in the clubs debut in the Munster Senior Cup should give McCarthy a boost of confidence ahead of the season start.

Cork City FC v Kerry FC
Friday, February 16th – Turners Cross – Kick off 19:45

Previous meetings

Injury update
Having missed several Munster Senior Cup games, there remains some injury doubt ahead of the season opener in Turners Cross. Ryan Kelliher, who missed out on both games remains a doubt and will be subject to a fitness test, as will Victor Udeze and Daniel Okwute who picked up knocks in pre-season. Ferdia O’Brien is in line to make his debut as he has recovered from a slight knock during the busy pre-season schedule.

‘What they said’

Kerry FC First Team Coach James Sugrue
“It’s a game where we aren’t at home and travelling up there is a very good test for us to see where we are. It’s definitely something we are looking forward to. I said it to the boys lets go up there and maybe on the night you might be a giant killer. We are looking forward to the occasion, to the atmosphere and hopefully, our fans will be singing post-match heading back down the road”

Kerry FC Captain Andy Spain
“The whole occasion is going to be very good, look the pressure is on them. The Cross is going to be packed with a good atmosphere and hopefully we can show what we can do as well. We aren’t there to make up the numbers, we’re here to compete in this competition as well”