ENGLISH Premier League side Burnley FC have announced a strategic club partnership with Cobh Ramblers.
Ramblers will benefit from a range of hands-on support from Burnley, using the Turf Moor club’s operational and commercial expertise, including in coach education and player access.
While loan deals for Burnley academy players to gain experience at first team level in Cobh will also be considered.
The partnership will see Burnley enhance its footprint in Ireland and will expand the network of Burnley for domestic talent identification.
Giving his thoughts on the partnership with Burnley, Cobh Ramblers chairman Bill O’Leary described this as a significant move for the club.
“It is recognizing there are great opportunities for learning on and off the pitch.
"It is recognizing we can punch above our weight and be positive.
“Our target is to create a positive working relationship, to look at player sharing and player movement.
"To look at youth development, player progression and player pathways, to look at commercial opportunities.
"Also we start our National Ladies team next year in line with our centenary and Burnley have really ambitious plans in that space too.
“Learnings off the pitch, let's not be foolish to disregard the importance of learning from a really well established club off the pitch, with brilliant structures and have done really well.”
Alan Pace, chairman of Burnley F.C, added: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to grow Burnley’s footprint and benefit from working with some fantastic clubs on our doorstep.
“We look forward to developing a strong working relationship with Ayr United, Cobh Ramblers, Portadown and Llandudno which will no doubt benefit the clubs, the coaches and their players for many years to come.
“This is very much the first step in our plans to expand the football network of Burnley, build the relevance of our club beyond the North West of England and ensure that Burnley’s academy continues to be a high-performance hotbed for future first team players and international footballers.”
Cobh Ramblers are one of four clubs who Burnley have partnered up with as part of this strategic plan, with the others being Scottish Championship club Ayr United, Portadown of the NIFL Premiership and Cymru North team Llandudno , who will all become partner clubs of Burnley F.C.
The development of coaches will be central to Burnley’s work at the partner clubs such as Ramblers, with hands-on support in creating best practice structures to implement professional coaching, in line with Burnley’s Category 1 Premier League academy.
Long-term, the goal of the strategic partnerships is to create player pathways into the Premier League for the best players, with of course previous academy graduates of Cobh Ramblers including Premier League stars Roy Keane and Stephen Ireland.