COBH Ramblers have signed former Galway United defender Cian Murphy for the 2021 League Of Ireland First Division campaign.
Ramblers are also set to add to their squad from the Munster Senior League ranks, with David O’Leary joining from Avondale, along also with Jake Hegarty and James McCarthy signing from Midleton.
The Echo first reported that Ramblers were set to announce some new arrivals to the squad, as manager Stuart Ashton seeks to remain in the promotion picture for the 2021 season.
Murphy joins Cobh after most recently lining out for Galway United, working with former Cork City boss John Caulfield in the latter stages of his period at the West Of Ireland club.
The 24-year-old from Cork spent the past two seasons at Galway, having joined them in 2019 from Munster Senior League side St Mary’s.
“I’ve played against a lot of the lads a good few times in recent years and I’ve been very impressed with them. When Stuart Ashton and myself talked, I didn’t take much convincing. I wanted to be here,” said Murphy.
“It’s great to be coming back to play football in Cork. It was a big factor for me, getting to play football at home again. Looking at the squad here, the quality of players retained in the squad was well highlighted in the off-season.
“The Cork derby up first is very good for us. The fans won’t be back for the first game, unfortunately, but hopefully, there is a stage in the season where we can get supporters back in again.
“My dad and my friends came to a lot of games in Galway. But definitely, when fans are allowed back in, it’ll be easier for them to see me again and that’s something I’m really excited about.
Ramblers will face Premier Division opposition in their pre-season preparations, ahead of their First Division opener against Cork City on March 26 at Turner's Cross.
On February 25, Ramblers will take on last season’s First Division play-off winners Longford Town.
February 28 will see Cobh face the 2020 League of Ireland Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers.
While St Patrick’s Athletic will be the opposition for Ramblers on March 6.
Given current Covid-19 restrictions, these games will all take place behind closed doors.