AFTER a successful career in league of Ireland Jason Abbott is now enjoying being back at a club where his love of football first began.
The creative midfielder grew up watching his dad Niall star for Jason's current team Cobh Wanderers and it’s here that Jason shines week in and week out and is delighted to be playing for his local club.
“My love of football started when I was really young and I used to go to my dad's matches when he played with Cobh Wanderers.
"We always watched Man United and went to Cobh Ramblers matches when also and I grew up always wanting to play for Ramblers in St Colman’s Park and Man United.
"As I got older I started to go to the Ramblers matches with my friends and loved watching my favourite players at the time Mikey O’Shea and Conor Meade, who I played with at both Cobh Ramblers and Wanderers."
Abbott began his playing career with Springfield winning a National cup at U16 in which he scored the only goal against a strong Belverdere side, a game in which is one of the highlights of his career.
During that time he also played with the Cork Schoolboys League from U14-U16 winning two All-Irelands and three Munster titles while captaining the U16 winning team.
He was also part of the Emerging Talent Squad and represented Ireland on a few occasions.
From here he moved onto the league of Ireland for Cobh Ramblers winning the U19 Southern division which brought him to the attention of an American college.
“I was approached by Boston College, a Division 1 NCAA College team with the opportunity of a scholarship in America and decided to go there after completing my Leaving Cert.
"It was an experience and when I returned from the States I signed with Cork City and won the U19 League and Cup Double.
"I began studying PE teaching in UCC in 2013 and I decided to sign for them receiving a soccer scholarship.
"It made a lot of sense to make the move as they had a very good team and I could combine my dream job of becoming a PE teacher and play football with the College.
"UCC is a fantastic club to play for and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was a great experience and would recommend it to any young player entering the college.
"The highlight of playing with UCC was winning the Collingwood Cup, a great tournament to be a part of during my two years with UCC.
“Cobh Ramblers during this time had been reinstated back to the League of Ireland and I knew that I would eventually end up playing there.
"Stephen Henderson approached me to sign and I didn’t hesitate in moving there, a club I grew up loving and supporting.
"I think that I was his first signing when he went back to the club and I scored on my debut which was an added bonus.
"Hendo was building a very strong squad and every year we seemed to improve.
"We were very close to getting promoted through the play off’s against Drogheda and finished runners up behind a very strong Waterford them the following year.
"We won the Munster Cup in 2016 which meant a lot to people in the club who sacrifice their time for the club.
"I loved playing in the League of Ireland with Cobh Ramblers.
"It is my home town club and it was an honour to be a local player on the team.
“It took a lot of hard work to graduate from UCC and I decided to leave the League of Ireland as securing employment was my main focus and I knew that I would find it very difficult to travel to away matches on a Friday night with work.
"I am very lucky to be teaching down in Kinsale Community School. The Principal of the school Mr. Fergal McCarthy and teaching staff are fantastic to work with.
"The facilities that are available to both the teachers and the students is really incredible and I am very lucky to be working in a school with a such a fantastic PE Department who are so professional in their work ethic and dedication to Physical Education at Kinsale Community School."
For the 25 year-old, being able to play at a decent level and working in a job he loves makes life so much easier and he stresses that it couldn't have been possible without the support from his parents.
"Both my parents have been a massive support since I was young.
"They would rarely miss a game and they drove me all over the country to training and games which I am very grateful for.
"I am also lucky to be part of a fantastic club and to be honest Cobh, as a whole is a fantastic town for sport.
“There are four fantastic soccer teams at different levels to play for in the town.
"It is fantastic to see the four clubs working together and supporting one another with the common goal of promoting and increasing the standard and facilities of football in the town.
"There are many players and coaches involved in multiple teams in the town who sacrifice their time all to better our clubs.
"Over the last few years Wanderers have been challenging for the Munster Senior League and got to the Intermediate Cup Final.
"On a couple of occasions the title has gone down to the last day of the season but unfortunately we have still yet to win it.
"This year we have a very young team in comparison to recent years.
"There are a lot of young talented players who have been a great assist to us this year and Darren Murphy has offered them opportunities that another manager may not have given them.
"Darren is a fantastic manager to have who has incredible experience of playing as a professional.
"Every person at the club has massive respect for him and his team of Steven Quinlan, Darren Haines and Pat Mc who give everything that they have to the club.
"Behind the scenes they are constantly working to improve the club and us as players.
"Chairman Frank McCall is constantly striving to better the club and devotes most of his time to the club which we all are very thankful for.
"Let's hope we can continue in making progress at the club."