AHEAD of what is a crunch final league game of the season at home to Shamrock Rovers II, Cobh Ramblers defender Charlie Lyons is keen to grab the opportunity that awaits for his side with both hands.
With the League of Ireland First Division in its final stages, the chances of Ramblers making the promotion playoffs is still very much alive.
Helped by the experience provided by John Kavanagh and Ian Turner, this young Cobh squad are hungry and would really relish the prospect of being a Premier Division club.
But all focus is now on that game down for Tuesday week, another crunch clash against Rovers II.
“That is our cup final now because it keeps our season alive,” describes Lyons to The Echo.
“This week now will be like preparing for a cup final. It will be do or die stuff for us.
“But I think definitely if we can turn up just like the last few weeks, I have no doubt that we can go and get the three points hopefully.
“Since I came home(from Preston), that has been the main aim, to be playing in the League of Ireland Premier Division.
“But we just have to worry about ourselves. If Cobh Ramblers can get into the playoffs, we can give it a right rattle and I would fancy ourselves to beat anyone.
“It is exciting enough times for the club. They have been great with everyone this year. So it would be unbelievable if we could get to the playoffs and have a rattle off promotion.” Lyons has been a key element at the heart of the Cobh defence throughout the 2020 campaign.
Ramblers recorded a solid and deserving 1-0 win away to promotion rivals Longford Town last weekend, to keep the St Colman’s Park side’s season still very much alive.
After making the move back from England, where he was with the Preston North End underage setup, Lyons joined Ramblers in 2019 in search of regular first team football.
Overall he has developed and progressed nicely and Charlie clearly has seen the many benefits of senior action while at Cobh.
With the First Division in the closing stages, Lyons feels Ramblers are exactly where they feel they should be in the table, that is challenging for promotion.
Big away wins against promotion rivals in Longford, Drogheda United and John Caulfield’s Galway United is another illustration of the high standards Ramblers have set.
Galway still have a chance of the playoffs because of games in hand.
But Ramblers currently sit 2pts behind Cabinteely, who face Drogheda United at home on the final night.
“At the start of the year we set out for promotion or playoffs at minimum,” Lyons adds.
“But we kind of made hard work of it, but that was down to ourselves not being consistent enough I think, at home anyway.
“If we win now on Tuesday week against Shamrock Rovers II, I know we need a few results to go our way, but hopefully we can get in there just about.
“At the start of the year, with the squad we have I thought we were going to be there or thereabouts.” The final game of the First Division regular season for Ramblers is at home to Shamrock Rovers II.
Rovers are a young side, but one with plenty of young talent, a number of whom are playing for Ireland at underage level.
So Cobh will have to very much not underestimate their Dublin opposition.
“I thought Rovers were the best footballing team we played all year up in Tallaght. They look to play football and keep it on the deck.
“It is not going to be a walkover by any means. But I think if we just show up like we have the last two weeks now, we can get the three points and then hopefully results can go our way elsewhere so we can make the playoffs.” Heading away to Longford knowing only victory would do showed how Cobh can react when the chips are down.
Lyons and his Ramblers teammates will be hoping to produce the goods again against Rovers at St Colman’s Park and keep their promotion dreams alive.