PLAYING more regular football and returning to his native Cork were Ian Turner’s reasons for joining Cobh Ramblers.
The 29-year-old signed for the St Colman’s Park club last week, following a spell with St Patrick’s Athletic, with whom he played 12 times in the Premier Division last season and scored once.
Speaking to the Evening Echo, Turner says he was keen to move back to Leeside and get regular game time again.
“I wanted to come back home. Myself and my missus, we are after buying a house at home.
“I made the decision after going up to Dublin for the last two years, where it didn’t really work out as I would have hoped.
“To come back to Cork was what I wanted to do. Cobh Ramblers was a new challenge for me and I was happy enough to take it on.”
The 2019 League Of Ireland First Division promises to be competitive, given the quality of player being recruited by some of the clubs. The second tier of Irish football is stronger than it was.
Turner’s former teammate from last season at St Pat’s, Conan Byrne, has signed for an impressive Shelbourne side that can push for the Premier Division.
“For us, it is going to be important just to look after ourselves. I think that it is going to be a competitive First Division this year,” says Turner.
“Other teams are doing good business. But Ramblers are also doing good business. It is going to be a good First Division and something to look forward to.
“It is going to be competitive. I think it is set up to be one of those First Divisions where you can’t really predict it.”
While with Ramblers, Turner is looking forward to working with coaches such as Stephen Henderson and Stuart Ashton, whom he worked with during at Cork City.
“I actually spoke to Hendo before. He tried to sign me when he was Waterford manager, years ago, when I was at Cork.
“So I had known him from speaking to him before. But he has always been a manager that I liked. When I met him, I always took to him straight away.”
As for his aims for the 2019 campaign, the former Cork City, Limerick, and St Patrick’s Athletic man is keen to hit the ground running, both individually and collectively.
“It is important for us to concentrate on ourselves, go game by game. We have Drogheda away to start, which is a tough game.
“Then, you have two home games back to back, which, if you can get off to a good start, from my experience in whatever league, Premier or First Division, once you get a good start, the momentum takes it with you.
“For us, I think it is important to gel early and get in working hard in pre-season. Get our fitness up and use the pre-season games now to get to know each other, get to gel as a team.
“Then, really look to attack those first three games. Once you can get a good start, then who knows where it can take you.”