Cork City manager John Caulfield believes that Mark McNulty would have been handed an Ireland call-up by now if he hadn’t spent his whole career playing in Cork.
The City boss went out of his way to praise the club’s goalkeeper saying that he would have got international recognition had he played his football somewhere else in Ireland.
The 36-year-old has kept a clean sheet in half of Cork City Premier Division matches in the season thus far, such has been the rock solid defence upon which their success has been built. 10 clean sheets out of 20 matches is clearly a reason for Cork City’s superiority this in this year’s league campaign.
The combination of a solid back four and free-scoring forwards have resulted in Cork City holding a 12 point lead at the top of the Airtricity League, with two games in hand over Dundalk in second.
Caulfield has heaped praise on a player that has devoted his whole career to City, and the manager feels the keeper deserves more credit for all he has done and achieved.
“What I feel is that he’s an under-rated keeper, maybe because he’s down here. Certainly the media outside Cork have a different impression about him, which is totally wrong. I don’t know why.”
“Since I came in, he never misses training, he hasn’t missed a league game and he’s in his third-and-a-half season with me, which shows the consistency he’s at. His clean sheet ratio in the league, I think the lowest it has been at is 50%. Last year he had 21 out of 33.”
Along with fellow Cork City keeper Alan Smith, McNulty had the opportunity to train with the Irish squad in Fota in May – however, at 36, you feel his chance for a senior cap may have passed him by.
Caulfield believes that playing in Cork has been a deciding factor in the keeper not getting the international recognition that the City manager feels he deserves.
“I just feel that he is under-rated, and he’s always been the top keeper in our league for a number of years.
“But I think maybe because of the club he’s been at, he probably hasn’t got the credit that he deserves. That’s my opinion.”
When the Cork City boss was asked if he thinks that McNulty would have got an international call-up if he played with champions Dundalk or a club in Dublin, John Caulfield replied.
“No doubt. Absolutely”.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chatted to Shelbourne manager Owen Heary and looked ahead to Dundalk’s Champions League clash with Rosenborg, as well as the usual League of Ireland news.