Tuesday 25 October 2016

Cork happy with rare underdog tag for final

Cork City's Alan Bennett
Cork City's Alan Bennett

The Cups have been full of ups and downs for ex-Ireland international Alan Bennett.

But the veteran, now back at his first club Cork City after almost a decade in England, hopes that there's time for one more chance to smile on the big stage in tomorrow's FAI Cup final meeting with champions Dundalk.

The trip to Ballsbridge tomorrow will bring back strange memories for Bennett, one of the few players still in the game who played in the old Lansdowne Road, a beaten finalist with Cork in 2005. "What do I remember about the old stadium? The dressing rooms were terrible. And we lost in the final," says Bennett, who left Cork before their 2007 Cup success.

"I had a lot of FA Cup games in England so I know what a day like tomorrow entails," added Bennett, now back home after spells with Reading, Brentford, Wycombe, Cheltenham and Wimbledon.

"And this, an occasion like tomorrow, is why I came home. Last January when I sat down with the manager at Wimbledon I'd hoped for a situation like this, another Cup final with Cork." Dundalk remain favourites but City will have a say.

"We were going for the double in '05 and it's a hard thing to do," Bennett says.

"But we are underdogs and that suits us."

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