PREVIEW: Cobh Ramblers v Shamrock Rovers “B”

EDITABLE600X400The League of Ireland season is finally upon us and if 2014 is anything like last year then we are in for a treat!

This Saturday sees a piece of LOI history being made at St Colman’s Park. This will be the first ever game featuring a reserve side in the First Division. Although the team cannot be promoted to the Premier Division of the Airtricty League, any game against a Rovers side is never easy and this is a ‘B Side’ in name only. They have brought in players like Daniel Purdy (ex-Longford), Ryan Coombes (Bray Wanderers) and Chris Lyons (Bohemians) and all are well capable of causing a threat to the Rams.

It will be Martin Cambridge’s first league game in charge of Cobh, after taking the job along with his u19 duties. Cambridge was assistant boss to Stephen Henderson before at the club and will know what is expected. Having already guided the u19s to the Enda McGuill Cup Final, Martin will want to add to this success at senior level.

Captain Martin Deady and young centre back Brendán Frahill both have to serve suspensions running over from last year. The rest of the squad is expected to be fit for the tie. A number of players have departed St Colman’s in the off season. Davin O’Neill has retired and he will be a huge loss to the club. John Meade, Brian Fitzgerald (Avondale) and Kynan Rocks (Waterford) have also left the club.

Although this is still a young side, many of these players now have a year under their belt and this may come in valuable. One of those is Ramblers goalkeeper Robert Birdsall and he had this to day before the game,
“We want to get off to a winning start on Saturday against Rovers. Martin Cambridge has got us working really hard the past couple of weeks and there’s been a really good vibe at training.”

“There is a much more professional attitude this season. All of the players are looking forward to the new season and we want to pull off plenty of upsets along the way. Hopefully the people of Cobh will come out and support us!”

In Ramblers’ first game last year they demolished Wexford Youths 5-0 on their return to LOI football. A repeat of that would be a huge boost to this young squad and to the fans. It will be difficult though and Colin Hawkins will have his Rovers side set up well.

What these sides may lack in experience, they more than make up for in talent. It should be a thrilling game in St Colman’s and a great start to the new campaign. So why not get out and support your local team this weekend!

There is a 19:45 kick-off at St Colman’s Park. Elsewhere during the opening weekend, newly formed Galway FC host Longford, relegated Shelbourne are at home to Wexford Youths and Waterford travel to Finn Harps.

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.