Cork City have confirmed that Steven Beattie has left the club.
The versatile right-back made nearly 100 appearances for the Leesiders since joining from Sligo in July of 2015.
Beattie is hoping to explore a return to the United States where he began his career.
“I’ve had nearly four years down here. It has been great down here but I always said from the start that I wanted to go back to the States,” he said.
“I was going to go back last year but when I sat down with John I just couldn’t leave, there was too much good stuff going on here.
“I always said I wanted to win a league, win a cup and play in both European competitions for Cork City and I ended up doing that. I think the time is right, right now. I’m going to miss everyone around here.
[quote]”It has just been brilliant, it has been the best thing that has ever happened in my career. My only regret is that I didn’t sign sooner. When I first came back to Ireland I should have signed here.[/quote]
This place is something special, the people behind the scenes that nobody ever hears about, but more importantly the players and the staff. It is a family down here.
“I’ve been luckily enough to play with some Cork legends, Alan Bennett, Colin Healy, John O’Flynn, Liam Kearney, Mark McNulty, and obviously the late Liam Miller. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know these guys and be part of this place. It is definitely an emotional time for me.
“From day one, John said it, I’m not your typical Dub and I said the same. The (fans) have been brilliant with me. They follow us up and down the country, all over Europe and I’m glad we could repay them with silverware last year. This club deserves to be at the very top and I am leaving them at the very top. I just want to thank every single fan that has been there for me since the start.
[quote]”You are losing a player but you are gaining a fan because now I’ll be a fan forever, watching from afar.”[/quote]
City boss John Caulfield thanked Beattie for his commitment to the club.
“We have fond memories of Steven,” he said.
“He was a brilliant player and a huge part of the club over the last number of years. He was part of the double winning team and the back-to-back cup winners. He was a fan favourite who would run through the wall for you. It is obviously very disappointing that he missed out on Sunday’s cup final.
[quote]”He bought into the local community and bar his accent you would say he is a Cork person.[/quote]
“It’s a new stage of his career. He is exploring his options in America. Steven and I have a great relationship, I fully understand that it an opportunity that he can’t turn down and we wish him well.”
Meanwhile, Cork have signed versatile left-sided player Garry Comerford from Waterford, following yesterday’s addition of Dan Casey from Bohemians.