WITH the First Division being arguably the most competitive and anticipated in years, Cobh Ramblers will hope to be in the promotion mix.
Here we pick three Cobh Ramblers players to watch out for.
The younger brother of Ipswich Town man Aaron, Conor Drinan will be seeking to play a crucial role in the Cobh attack.
Having chipped in with a few goals last term, there is a feeling that there is more to come from Conor over the coming months.
A player who can also play in the number 10 role, Drinan joined Ramblers from Munster Senior League side Carrigaline United, where he was top scorer in 2019. Drinan scored 24 goals for the club helping them secure promotion to the Premier Division.
Last term at Ramblers, in what was a significantly reduced season because of Covid-19, Drinan played 14 league games and scored on three occasions. He will hope to make an even greater impression over the forthcoming campaign.
Most recently with Avondale United, where he won an FAI Intermediate Cup title, David O’Leary is eager to return in style to League Of Ireland football; he will bring great experience to the Cobh Ramblers midfield.
He enjoyed four years with Limerick FC and picked up a First Division medal when they were promoted to the top tier in 2012.
After making over 80 appearances for the Blues, in 2014 O’Leary moved to Cork City and helped them to a runners-up spot in the Premier Division. He then spent a season at then newly-promoted Galway United in 2015, before spells at Waterford and Shelbourne.
He is strong physically and likes to get on the ball. With David Hurley departing for Galway, O’Leary looks like someone who has all the attributes to be a key midfielder for Ramblers.
Barron made an instant impact when joining Ramblers from Avondale United last summer. The shot-stopper picked up four clean sheets in his first four matches, ending the 2020 first division season with eight clean sheets in total.
A penalty save in the win away to eventual first division champions Drogheda United last term was another highlight for the Waterford native who has previous goalkeeping experience with Cork City, Waterford, and also in GAA with the Waterford senior football team.
An FAI Intermediate Cup winner with Avondale, Barron spent four years at the MSL outfit, before signing for Cobh.
For Ramblers to mount another promotion push, the keeper’s form will be key.