GROWING up supporting your local team and hoping one day you’ll get a chance to emulate your heroes, is a dream for many youngsters.
For local boy Ciaran Griffin, this was his dream, and this season he will get a chance to achieve that dream as he will line out with Stuart Ashton’s Cobh Ramblers first team in the First Division of the SSE Airtricity League.
The 19-year-old Cobh man spent most of his playing career with Springfield Ramblers and although he had brief spells with Ringmahon and Cobh Wanderers, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to play League of Ireland for the first time.
“It means a lot for me to be playing with Cobh Ramblers because as a kid I spent a lot of time going to matches supporting them and hoping that one day I would get to play for them,” said Griffin.
“There was always such a great buzz as a supporter, and now I am really looking forward to enjoying the same buzz as a player while my family watch on.”
Griffin, like most youngsters grew up playing with his local side Springfield. He developed hugely as a player and throughout the years enjoyed success along the way which he believes has helped him to become the player he is.
“Growing up I played for Springfield up until U17s. We have some great memories and it was here I really learned the foundations of football and more importantly what it takes to be a great team player. From here I played with Ringmahon for one year.
“The following season the team folded so I returned to Springfield Division 1 team. We had a great season winning the league and coming runners up in the cup. After that Darren Murphy and his coaching staff showed their interest in getting young players involved in the squad at Cobh Wanderers which benefited me a lot.
I also had great help from Conor Meade of Maximum Football. So, this I hope will definitely prepare me for the season ahead in which I am really looking forward to.”
It’s his first season playing League of Ireland level so what are his expectations?
“I have high hopes for the team as there is a really high standard and the aim for everyone is promotion. For myself, my aim is hopefully to work my way into the game-day squads and prove myself and just get game time in and enjoy this experience really.
“The competition for places in the squad is a really high standard and for myself and my position as a striker there is a very high standard which is great for us to all, as this will only help each other progress as players.”
Griffin is currently studying on the FAI soccer course in Carrigaline, a course he believes has helped him come to the attention of Stuart Ashton.
“The course is excellent as I get to train every day. The benefits of training every day, getting involved in coaching, learning lots of new parts of the game. This has helped me to progress as a player as obviously the more training you do, the fitter you are, and you have more of an understanding of the game along with many other aspects improved in my game.”