“I even had to go away and figure out who Drake was this week” – Karl Caulfield talks to Thomas Stafford ahead of the new season

With the club getting our 2017 campaign underway on Saturday at home to Wexford FC, club reporter Thomas Stafford caught up with recent arrival Karl Caulfield as the final preparations are put in for the new campaign.


The name Karl Caulfield is synonymous with the great Avondale United side of the past decade. A side that truly dominated intermediate football nationally and on Leeside. Cobh Ramblers’ recent off-season arrival however has plied for more clubs than the ‘Dale’ in a career spanning over twenty years, “I started off playing with my local club Kilreen Celtic at underage level. I then moved to Cork City for four years which included a short loan spell at Ramblers in 2007. A move to Avondale followed and I had nine truly great seasons there. This was broken by a brief spell back at Cork City under Tommy Dunne in 2010. Ultimately I ended up with Kilreen once again at the start of the 2016/17 season before making the move to Cobh in January.

Players often come and go from St Colman’s Park, player turnover is just a given in the League of Ireland. It’s rare enough however that players make a return, especially ten years down the line ” I always had an ambition to go back playing at League of Ireland level. I spoke about it with last year’s Cobh captain Kevin Mulcahy a while back and he passed the message on to Stephen Henderson, who in turn offered me the chance. Thankfully it has worked out very well so far.”

Some may wonder what it was that brought Karl back playing League of Ireland football,  “I always felt that I had left it behind me when I was younger. I have no regrets but I always wondered what path my career would have taken if I had completed that loan spell with Cobh back in 2007, instead of opting to switch to Intermediate football.”

Photo - Doug Minihane
Photo – Doug Minihane

With his second spell at St Colman’s Park back underway, Karl has been thoroughly impressed with the club’s progress, “It has been very professional. The manager and the backroom staff have a great bond with the players, something that is hugely important. Stephen’s passion for the game and his drive to bring Cobh to the next level has really impressed me. Overall the club has surpassed my expectations to date.”

When it comes to aims for the 2017 season, Karl is ambitious and forward, always positive traits in a player, “I want to cement a place in the team and get promoted, it’s as simple as that really. The rest of the squad are the same. I didn’t know many of them before coming here with the exception of Jason Abbott who I had played against a few times when he was with Cork City and UCC. We’re a hungry, ambitious squad who want to achieve big things.” 

Having played at intermediate and League of Ireland level, Karl has been somewhat surprised at the jump between the two, “In the past I would have said that there was very little difference but after seeing the way Stephen, Stuart (Ashton) and the rest of the team go about their business, it has opened my eyes a little. The sharpness, the fitness level and the quality of the coaching are all a step up. On the other hand, intermediate level is a different ball game. It has a decent level of intensity, quality and organisation but it’s a more physical game. I had to learn that the hard way when I first arrived at Avondale.” 

Photo - Doug Minihane
Photo – Doug Minihane

It’s safe to say that Caulfield is one of the more senior members of this Ramblers squad, happily the midfielder takes it all in his stride. He’s even learning things from the younger members of the squad. “My view is that I’m like the old man in the dressing room. The lads give me a slagging off every now and again but it’s all good banter to be fair! I think that they are helping me just as much as I’m helping them. I even had to go away and figure out who Drake was this week!”

Lastly, Karl’s singing performance at the recent squad inauguration in Dublin is something he is quite proud of, if not for his choice of song (Garth Brooks – Friends in Low Places), “I needed to do something old to coincide with my age and as Garth unfortunately didn’t make it to Dublin himself, I thought that I should give it a go. Thankfully I don’t think that I faired too badly!”

By Thomas Stafford

Cobh Ramblers FC

Cobh Ramblers Football Club is an Irish football club. The club, founded in 1922 and elected to the League of Ireland in 1985, hails from Cobh, County Cork and play their home matches at St. Colman's Park. The club's colours are claret and blue.