Cork City and Turners Cross Get ready for Champions League Football

Turners Cross - CorkTurners Cross - Cork 25.06.2018: Whilst many eyes around the globe are glued to the action at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, in one corner of the Republic of Ireland, football fans are eagerly anticipating international football of a different flavour. This week the draw for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League was held, which paired Cork City with Polish champions, Legia Warsaw.

On Tuesday 10th July, the very same day the first of the World Cup semi-finals takes place, Cork City fans will be flocking to the Turners Cross stadium to cheer on the Rebel Army against Legia Warsaw, hoping their team can make the most of the first leg at home, before heading away for the decisive second leg at the Polish Army Stadium on Tuesday 17th July.

Supporters of the current Polish Ekstraklasa champions are unlikely to have their loyalties divided between club and national side. After a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Senegal in their opening Group G, World Cup outright betting odds at William Hill suggest that Poland might not make it to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Stadium: Turners Cross, Capacity: 7.485, Photo: www.groundhopping.se


Why should the progress of Poland at the World Cup matter to Cork City? Well, two of their best defenders also play for Legia Warsaw. Should the national team be eliminated from the World Cup, Michał Pazdan and Artur Jędrzejczyk will report back to their club, making them both available for the European duel between Legia and Cork.

Whatever happens on the international stage, Cork City fans will certainly entertain their visitors from Poland with a party atmosphere at Turners Cross. The 7,485-capacity venue is one of only two all-seater stadiums in the Republic of Ireland, with the other being the Aviva Stadium located at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.

The winners of the tie also know their potential rivals in the Second Qualifying Round, and should Cork City reign supreme, they will face either Spartak Trnava of Slovakia or Zrinjski of Bosnia. If the Irish side don’t manage to beat their Polish rivals in the Champions League, it won’t be the end of their adventures in European competition. The losers of the tie will go into the Third Qualifying Round draw for the UEFA Europa League.
   
Photo: www.groundhopping.se

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On 16th October 2017, when Hurricane Ophelia was the worst storm to hit Ireland in more than fifty years, the Derrynane Road stand at Turners Cross suffered extensive damage. However, with Cork City in the midst of the 2018 domestic season, repairs have been completed and the venue is once again in tip-top condition, with a new roof and additional facilities also incorporated.

The pitch was also renovated recently, with improvements made to drainage and re-turfing around the goal areas at each end. This will undoubtedly aid reigning Airtricity League champions Cork City in their bid to win back to back titles, amidst their domestic and European adventures during the 2018 season.

Owned and operated by the Munster Football Association, with fan-owned Cork City as permanent tenants, the Turners Cross stadium is regarded as the jewel in their regional sporting crown. Known affectionately as ‘The Cross’ locally, the venue has regularly hosted Republic of Ireland under-21 and other junior international matches over the years, whilst aside from football, the stadium has also been used as a venue for rugby, Gaelic games and even boxing.
 

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