DARRYL WALSH scored last week for Cobh Ramblers with a bullet of a strike from outside the box.
Once the ball broke to Walsh, he planted it into the back of the net and he will hope to repeat that accuracy during the campaign ahead.
It was a glimpse of his talent and perhaps why Colin O’Brien called him up to the Ireland U17 squad for the European Championships in 2017.
“It was nice, for myself, to get off the mark early in the season,” Walsh said.
“Personally, as well, my grandfather hasn’t been too well lately. So it has kind of given the family a nice bit of a lift there and it has given grandad a lift: He is much better now. It is very nice that you can go back to them and they are proud as punch, as well.”
Ramblers make the trip to Wexford searching for their first league victory of the 2021 campaign, in a clash at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.
Walsh is hoping Friday will be the night Cobh can pick up the three points and get their campaign motoring.
There are no easy games. I think you can see the whole league is after strengthening.
“Shelbourne only beat them 1-0 last week, through an own goal. It just shows how far the whole league has come.
“We are expecting a tough challenge down in Wexford. It is never an easy place to go. Look, we just have to go down there and put our own performance on and play how we can do.
“Show what kind of a team we are. We have serious quality there and quality after coming in during the off-season.
“Lads are still getting to know lads’ games and you have to allow time for that, as well,” Walsh said.
“But, definitely, we are looking to get our first three points on the board Friday night and get ourselves back in that mix for promotion.
“With all the re-signings for this season, it shows we are really happy with how the club is going, on and off the pitch.”
Last time out, Ramblers came away from their Munster derby clash with Treaty United with a share of the spoils.
But Cobh will feel they should have come away with more than a point, given that Treaty played the bones of an hour with 10 men, after a Charlie Fleming sending off.
On reflection, though, a draw was a fair result, on the balance of play. So, Ramblers will be hoping their first win will come on Friday.
Wexford, like every other side in this First Division, have strengthened their squad for 2021.
Brian O’Sullivan’s side will be hoping for an improved campaign in 2021 and getting the best out of a player with the ability of Jack Doherty will be key.
Signing Republic Of Ireland, underage international goalkeeper, Jimmy Corcoran, from Dundalk, was a decent bit of business for Wexford. Corcoran was in the headlines three years ago, after a bizarre refereeing decision saw him given a second yellow card in a controversial UEFA U17 Championship quarter-final shoot-out against the Netherlands.
During the shootout, Corcoran produced a spectacular penalty save from the Dutch captain, Daishawn Redan, but was penalised for leaving the line, despite having one foot clearly on it.
Other key men for Wexford will include Dan Tobin, Paul Cleary, and Jack Larkin, while signing Alex O’Hanlon, who, a few years ago, was playing for Liverpool at U23 level, looks a good bit of business.
The task Cobh face will not be easy, as illustrated by the Wexford performance last time out at Tolka Park, against Shelbourne. Wexford produced a solid display, but Shels scored the winner through an own goal. That was a cruel blow.
In their other league games, Wexford were defeated narrowly by Treaty United and Cabinteely.
Wexford will be targeting three points, so Stuart Ashton’s Ramblers will need to be up for the task if they are to come away with any points from Ferrycarrig Park.
Indeed, Ramblers will hope to be coming away from their trip to Wexford with that crucial victory.