PLAYING League of Ireland for 13 years and still only 31, Ian Turner has experienced the highs and lows of sport throughout this period.
Tonight he hopes to play a huge part for Cobh Ramblers in what he hopes will be the start of an exciting two weeks for the club in their bid to make the play offs.
Cobh take on Rovers II at St Colman’s Park in what is a really big game for the club, and Turner personally.
“I am really looking forward to tonight’s game but it will be like any other game in terms of our preparation,” said the Togher man. "It’s very important for us to just concentrate on ourselves, there is so much that can happen with other games but we need to win to give ourselves a chance and not worry about other teams.”
Turner began football in his locality with local side Wilton United where he spent many years and enjoyed a lot of success.
From here he made the step up to League of Ireland football when he joined Cork City back in 2009 where he spent six years making 96 appearances playing mainly as a winger. He then moved to Limerick where he spent another two years before he returned to Cork City for a second spell, playing for one season.
Turner then returned to Limerick for another spell before heading to the capital to play with St Pats for two years and this season going to Cobh.
Back playing in the First Division was a big change, however with a full-time job and a new baby, playing part-time has proven to be a good decision.
“Each year opened my eyes to something new, playing and winning the first division and FAI cup with Cork City, going out of my comfort zone moving clubs and travelling away from home. Then going through a lot of different managers along the way it’s all part of learning about professional football.
"I learned an awful lot at each club, lots of ups and downs but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“Moving to Ramblers this season was a big change but I’m really enjoying it. If I’m honest it took me a bit longer than I expected to adjust to dropping down to the First Division and playing part-time football but now that I have I’m loving it and if we can squeeze into these playoffs it would be great.
"Although working and been a dad can be time-consuming and is probably easier while only playing part-time, however, I wouldn’t turn down another few years in the Premier Division.”
Turner has scored two vital goals in Ramblers’ recent 1-0 wins over Longford and Galway. Those victories have given Stuart Ashton’s side huge confidence in their chase for promotion.
To make the play-offs and be part of a squad to bring the club back playing in the top tier of football would be a massive deal for everyone involved with the club. Turner believes it would be just reward for the hard work put in by all involved.
“It would be huge for the club to be promoted. Obviously, it was great personally to get the winning goals against Longford and Galway however more importantly it was six points for the team. The squad have worked hard all season with everyone involved giving it 100%.
“I think everything about the club is very good at the moment. There’s a real positivity around both on and off the field and if the club can get back to the premier division it would be very deserved for all the hard work put in by everybody.”
With still plenty of ambitions in the game, Turner’s main focus is on getting Cobh promoted and after that, it’s about continuing to enjoy the game and to try and play at the top level for as long as he can.
“I would like to think I have a good few years left in me yet, if we could get back to the premier division with Cobh that would be a huge achievement and one that I would love to be part of. That is my main focus for the moment and after that, it’s the same as usual really. Wanting to play for as long as I can, and at the highest level possible.
“I think since the start of the season our objective has always been to get promoted so that hasn’t changed. If we don’t make the playoffs it would be very disappointing because I feel we deserve it after all the hard work put in by everyone.
"It’s been a very stop, start season with everything that’s been going on but I’m really enjoying it but the highlight will hopefully come in the next two weeks!"