Cork City manager Tommy Dunne believes that the Airtricity Premier Division will be much more competitive in 2013 and says that his side can learn from the exploits of EA Sports Cup winners Drogheda United.
Dunne guided Cork City to promotion from the Airtricity First Division in 2011 before leading the team to a sixth place finish in the Premier Division in 2012, and, entering into his fourth season in charge of the Leesiders, the former Shamrock Rovers defender is keen to make a further progression.
"The League is going to be a lot more competitive than it was last year," Dunne told corkcityfc.net. "Shamrock Rovers will be better, Derry will be better, Sligo, if they are in and around the same standard, will still be very strong and St Patrick's Athletic and Drogheda will also be strong."
He continued: "Stephen Kenny will put a decent team together up in Dundalk and while they are still appointing a manager, Limerick still have enough clout to put a decent group of players together."
The Cork City boss also praised the achievement of Mick Cooke's Drogheda United team, who 'punched above its weight' in finishing second in the league and winning the EA Sports Cup.
He said: "If you look back at last season, we probably finished where we were supposed to in terms of playing budget. The only club that punched above its weight was Drogheda, who had an amazing season.
"We can learn from a club like that, though it is more difficult for us simply because of the logistics involved. However, we don't want to go by that alone.
"There's more to football than what’s paid out and we will be looking to improve and progress this year," concluded Dunne.