Setanta Cup Preview: Cork City
Cork City return to the Setanta Sports Cup after a two year hiatus from the All Ireland competition. The Leesiders have a rich history in the tournament boasting both winners' medals (2008) and runners up medals (2006).
The absence from the Setanta Cup coincided with the Rebels two seasons in the Airtricity First Division. Manager Tommy Dunne's charges regained Premier status for the 2012 season and a sixth place finish earned the Turner's Cross outfit a place in the 2013 Setanta Cup.
A busy off season has seen a number of players re-sign, as well as a couple of new faces to shake things up.
A trio of forwards have signed with the return of Denis Behan from Limerick FC, Danny Furlong swapping Wexford Youths for Cork and tricky winger Daryl Kavanagh joining from Shamrock Rovers. Darren Dennehy , brother of former Cork City winger Billy, has also joined the club having played last season for English side Barnet.
Cork City have been placed as the lowest ranked League of Ireland team with the bookies. You can get them at 12/1 to lift the Cup but those odds have shortened since Cork's draw with Leeds and win over Longford Town in pre-season friendlies.
Cliftonville, current runaway leaders in the Danske Bank Irish Premiership, travel to Turner's Cross on Monday 11th February. Tommy Dunne and company will have a stern challenge on their hands to get a result against a side that has won their last league five games scoring 17 goals in the process and conceding only two.
Extratime.ie One to Watch: Daryl Kavanagh. The 26 year old former Waterford, Pats and Shamrock Rovers forward will be looking to make an impact at the Cork club after a disappointing spell with the Hoops. Kavanagh has gotten off to a flier netting a hat trick against Longford Town in the last friendly before the Setanta Cup opener.
Damien Byrne joined the Extratime.ie team for the 2012 season. He is a Dublin based freelance reporter who is partial to a Friday in Richmond Park, and can be contacted at email@example.com or on twitter at @damienbyrne92