JOHN KAVANAGH is a man relishing the challenges that lie in wait for Cobh Ramblers over the coming weeks.
When he chats to this reporter, one can get the sense that he is enjoying the current chapter of his footballing career down with Ramblers.
Free from injury, Kavanagh is showing once again why he was so highly rated as a player and is starting to show his best form that brought him to the attention of English clubs once again.
In terms of their League Of Ireland First Division campaign, the former Cork City man feels that Ramblers are more than capable of competing with any team and for this current Cobh squad, reaching the playoffs should be the minimum.
After picking up a much welcomed victory over Wexford in midweek, Longford make the trip to St Colman’s Park to take on Cobh, for what looks like being a compelling contest on Saturday evening.
Kavanagh brings great experience to this Ramblers side.
He is a useful player going forward from full back also, as he showed for his assist for Lee Devitt’s goal against Wexford.
One massive game which also is forthcoming on the agenda for Ramblers is an FAI Cup with Dundalk, who have won numerous domestic honours over the past decade.
That mouth-watering cup tie takes place in Cobh at St Colman’s Park, on Sunday, August 30th, with a 5pm kick off time.
Ramblers will of course be hoping for a repeat of what happened in the EA Sports Cup semi-final in 2018, when a Chris Hull goal secured a stunning 1-0 victory over the Lilywhites.
“Again that is what we will be aiming to do," declared Kavanagh looking ahead to Cobh's upcoming Dundalk clash.
"We are going to have to have a perfect performance really to get anything from the game against Dundalk.
“I think as a group, there is a really good group there and it is getting better every week.
“We are starting to gel and it is developing into a really good group.
"So we will just have to bring that into the game, trust each other and as I said we will need a perfect performance to get anything from it.
“But there is no reason why we can’t put it up to them and see where that gets us."
With the Cobh v Dundalk game also being streamed live nationally and internationally on the WATCHLOI service, Kavanagh feels it will provide the Ramblers players with a good platform to show what they are about.
“There are a lot of good players in Cobh and a lot of them will go on to play Premier Division football.
“So this game is a chance for them to really test themselves and see where they are at. You couldn’t do it against anyone better really.
“But it will be a massive test for us and it is great for the club as well to get the WATCHLOI streaming service down to St Colman’s Park.
“Just to broadcast around Ireland what the club is doing at the moment. That is because it is on a very firm setting and they are doing everything they can to promote the club.”
There is a feeling that things are being run a bit more professionally at Ramblers this term.
Kavanagh agrees with this sentiment, when it comes to the work being done to prepare the Cobh players for their games.
One look at the Ramblers performances in recent times indicate the solid preparation being put into the games.
“It is yeah," outlines Kavanagh.
"In fairness we are doing everything I think to prepare for who we are playing.
“The video analysis, Mark(O’Neill) looks after that and he is very good, putting together a good insight of what we are to expect and stuff, which is really helpful.
“On the other side, we prepare ourselves well and we set up to focus on ourselves.
"That is done on the pitch and a lot of work does go into it.
“They are doing things the right way. That is the way it should be and I think we are benefitting from that really on the pitch.
“But all we need now is results to follow.”
Kavanagh would have been pleased with the display and the result against Wexford in midweek.
He will be hoping that there are plenty of exciting times ahead for him and all associated with Cobh Ramblers.