Joe Gamble: Cork City will struggle to hold onto Greg Bolger amid Swedish interest

The former Irish international thinks European success isn't always a positive

Joe Gamble: Cork City will struggle to hold onto Greg Bolger amid Swedish interest

Cork City's Greg Bolger Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Despite the 1-0 loss to Genk in Belgium on Thursday night, Cork City midfelder Greg Bolger's stock continues to rise.

The Wexford native joined the Leesiders from St. Patrick's Athletic ahead of the current season, and he has impressed in games against Linfield, Häcken and Genk in the past month.

After the game last night, Cork manager John Caulfield confirmed that the Swedish Cup winners Häcken are interested in bringing the 28-year-old to the Allsvenskan.  

Speaking to Newstalk's SSE Airtricity League Podcast, former Cork midfielder said the team might find it difficult to hold on to Bolger if the Swedish club's interest is serious.

"I'm not surprised in that. If you think about it, these clubs, like Swedish and the lesser-known European clubs. They're looking to get bargains. They're looking to get Irish, they're looking at eastern European leagues to get cheap players, and their looking to sell these players on."

Bolger impressed again for Cork on Thursday night. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Jeffrey Gaens

"That's where we're messing out. We don''t have the foresight, and we probably don't have the finances to play against European competition."

Gamble mentioned playing against Icelandic opposition nine years ago, where he saw an opportunity for Cork City to improve the team, but were unable to act quickly enough.

"When I played against Valur [in the Intertoto Cup in 2007], there was a right-back who played with Iceland recently in the European Championships. I remember saying to Damien Richardson; 'We should sign this young player'. Very good player. Could have got him for €100,000 and then sell him on to England. We dont have the foresight in our league. We dont have the finances to do that."

If a concrete offer is made from Häcken for Bolger, Gamble feels the club will find it very difficult to turn down the money, if it's in the six-figures.

"If they offer €200,000, Cork City probably cannot say no. They can't afford not to have that money. He goes to Sweden, has a great season, they might sell him on again. That's the difference of the leagues and the power that bigger leagues have."

It's not an issue that is only in Cork, Gamble claims. He feels any club in the league would be tempted to sell a player of Bolger's quality in an offer came in.

"We're held at a ransom. There's too many clubs living day-to-day... Any money that comes in, whether from transfers or unexpected revenue, clubs have to take it."

"If I was Cork City chairman, I would sit down Greg Bolger straight away and give him a new deal. Tie him down for two years and give him the money he deserves."

Cork's second leg against Genk takes place in Turners Cross next Thursday night.