CORK CITY HAVE made another summer addition to their first-team squad by announcing the signing of local lad Shane Daly-Bütz.
The 22-year-old midfielder, who previously represented the club at U19 level, has signed a professional contract with the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions after spending the past three seasons with University College Cork in the Munster Senior League.
An Ireland international at amateur and universities level, Daly-Bütz impressed City manager John Caulfield in the Leesiders’ recent friendly fixtures against Portsmouth and Burnley.
He’ll be hoping to emulate defender Sean McLoughlin, who has become one of City’s key players this season after signing from UCC in the summer of 2017.
“We are delighted,” said Caulfield. “Obviously Shane has come from UCC and had been with us previously at U19 level. He has played a number of years in the Munster Senior League, similar to Sean McLoughlin, and we are hoping he will follow that pathway.
“He has been in training with us for the last four or five weeks and he is in great condition. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the pace of our game. He played in the games against Burnley and Portsmouth, so we feel that he is a real opportunity. We are looking forward to getting him involved in the team.
“We had a chat and Shane knows the next three or four months are about getting up to the speed of things. It would be great if he could be part of the team and get some game-time between now and the end of the season, which I’m sure he will, but obviously in the bigger picture he will be looking to break into the team from next season onwards.
“Sean McLoughlin has been a great example. It would be fantastic if Shane was to do similar and we believe he has that talent. We are very optimistic about it.”
Daly-Bütz becomes the fourth player to join Caulfield’s squad during the July transfer window. Veteran defender Damien Delaney returned home after leaving Crystal Palace, striker Ronan Coughlan joined from Bray Wanderers, while young attacker Cian Murphy was handed a professional deal after graduating from the U19 set-up.
Daly-Bütz said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get my first professional contract, especially with the biggest club in the country, Cork City. I’ve always had my eyes set on trying to get into the professional set-up, so I’m just delighted to get going full-time now.
“It’s a big step-up from the Munster Senior League, which I’ve been playing in for the last three years with UCC. I think coming from the Munster Senior League taught me a lot in terms of experience.
“UCC was brilliant. The step-up is huge but I’ve been in training for the past two or three weeks and I’ve gotten up to the standard. I hope I can keep progressing, keep playing and hopefully get a few minutes in before the end of the season.
“After the U19s, I felt I was ready for the first-team but in reality I wasn’t, so to go to UCC and dedicate a lot of my time to playing football while studying was brilliant. I got a degree under my belt while still playing football.
“Playing with Sean McLoughlin in UCC and then seeing him come in here, he really sets the bar for other lads coming in. He has shown that it can be done, to come through UCC and break into the first-team, if you get up to the standard, play well and keep your head down. I look forward to trying to do what he has done.
“I’m not coming in here expecting to play every game or start every game. My sights are set on next January and hopefully get a few minutes towards the end of season. There is a team set there already but — you never know — anything could go your way. Just hopefully finish out the rest of the season on a positive note and then set my sights for 2019.”