AUTHOR: Kieran Burke – @Kieran_B_Sport.
Cobh Ramblers’ 2021 season was as good as over before it ever really got started. The County Cork outfit failed to build any momentum throughout last year and as a result, Stuart Ashton was soon replaced as manager by former Rams midfielder, Darren Murphy. Even the arrival of the former Conference winner with Stevenage failed to fire up the engines at St.Colmans Park as Ramblers finished a lowly eighth in the table.
It should be pointed out, it’s far from all doom and gloom at St Colmans Park with the chairman, Bill O’Leary spearheading some stellar projects off the pitch and in the community as he looks to strengthen the First Division clubs ties with local teams and lapsed supporters in the Cobh region.
On the pitch, however, Cobh have an uphill battle on their hands given some of the greater-resourced teams they will once again come up against this season. The unusual challenge of having so many other Munster teams in the First Division this year means Cobh are often battling far greater backed clubs when it comes to attempting to sign players. As a result, Ramblers have had to shop local in the off-season with a mixture of Cork City youngsters and Munster Senior League talent making up the bulk of their business this winter.
While an influx of young talent could help freshen up what looked like a very stale Cobh Ramblers last season, it’s more likely to be baby steps for Murphy’s boys this season.
BTS PREDICTION: Bottom
STAR PERFORMER: Danny O’Connell (5 goals in 18 last season)
ONE TO WATCH: Nathan O’Connell (Good impact following arrival last summer, still only 20).