FORMER Cobh Ramblers player Conor Meade feels that the current first team at the St Colman’s Park club are in good hands under Stuart Ashton as manager.
A man that during his role in underage development at Cork City worked with the likes of Irish internationals Shane Long, David Meyler, Kevin Long and Alan Browne, along with a number of future City first-team players, current Cobh boss Ashton has a very impressive track record in football on Leeside.
“Stuart is well respected in the game and I am hoping he can get it right,” said Meade.
“It is tough to attract players from the Munster Senior League, these kind of characters that I feel you need to get the balance right in regards to the mixture.
“It is easier said and done on the side as a supporter, saying you want to get X and Y but can’t get them because they don’t want to commit full time to League Of Ireland.
“But I think Cobh Ramblers are in good hands. They are being run well off the pitch and I am sure Stuey will get it right on the pitch in the coming years.”
Ramblers provide a good platform for young footballers in Cobh and on Leeside generally on the national stage.
That was illustrated by Cobh's cup performances against Dundalk in recent seasons. That includes defeating the Lilywhites in the 2018 EA Sports Cup semi-final, a side that were managed by the now Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny.
Meade feels that playing League Of Ireland football for Cobh can provide a good opportunity for young aspiring players to enhance their careers.
“Some lads might use it as a stepping stone to the likes of Cork or Waterford. But there is no reason I feel if Cobh Ramblers can get it right off the pitch, why they can’t hold their own in the Premier Division.
“It is going to take a lot of work and a lot of putting time into young men that have been given a lot of responsibility.
“It is a great opportunity. If you are 18, 19, 20 years of age and you want to give football a crack, it is never too late to get on the ladder.
“Just look at Jaze Kabia, who made a very good start with Cobh and has moved onto Shelbourne, banging in goals and playing in the Premier Division.
“Anything can happen in football. You can just get on that ladder and start scoring goals or start playing well, you don’t know what could happen.”
The current crop of Ramblers' players will get back into competitive League Of Ireland action on July 31, away to Bray Wanderers.