HE spent the first part of the season watching and supporting local side Cobh Ramblers in the League of Ireland.
However, Jason Abbott now hopes he can play his part in helping Darren Murphy’s Cobh Ramblers climb the league table as he became Murphy’s first signing.
The creative midfielder is delighted to be back at the club surrounded by familiar faces of coaches and players he has played with.
“I’m obviously delighted to be back with Ramblers. I loved playing for Ramblers in my previous spell and it’s great to be back playing League of Ireland football,” said Abbott.
“Darren was involved in the coaching set-up during my first spell at the club and I was his captain during his time managing Cobh Wanderers so we have a great relationship and I have learned a lot from him over the years and I’m looking forward to being back playing for him.
“He is a fantastic coach with great ideas and has an experienced management team around him and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to be a part of it.”
The 27-year-old teacher is a local lad and son of former Ramblers player Niall so his heart and passion for the club will no doubt be a major asset.
I’m a local lad who came through the academy system of Springfield Ramblers.
"At U16 level I was part of the Ramblers team that won the National Cup and I was involved with Ramblers during their spell in the A Championship and played in the first-ever U19 League of Ireland Ramblers team and we won the Southern Division which was a great achievement.
“After a few years away from the club I rejoined in the summer of 2015. We had a great team, winning the 2016 Munster Cup and reached the playoffs in the same season.
“Unfortunately, I had just graduated from UCC and due to work commitments at the time I was unable to stay at the club, but I’m delighted to be back now.”
Having enjoyed a spell with Cobh Wanderers, Abbott was sad to leave the club but the opportunity to play LOI again was too good to turn down.
“I really enjoyed playing for Wanderers over the last few seasons and captaining the team was always a great honour. There is a fantastic group down there and I have no doubt that they will be successful this season.
“Many of that squad have played League of Ireland football already and many of the younger lads will progress to that level as Nathan (O’Connell) and Ciaran (Griffin) have this year.
“The club is going from strength to strength and with the Astro being built and the Cobh4football set up it is a fantastic time to be a football player in Cobh at any level.
“The Cobh4football project will be so beneficial to all teams in the town and everyone is looking forward to it being completed. Getting the opportunity to play LOI again was too good to turn down. It’s great to go into a team knowing so many familiar faces and having played with and against the majority of the squad at some stage makes it easier to settle in again. I have played with and have been coached by Darren, Demort, Conor and John over the years and I am looking forward to working with Fran, another fantastic coach.”
Having spent time playing in the MSL Abbott believes the step up isn’t very difficult and that’s down to the great standard of current players playing in the league.
“The MSL has some incredible players in it, many have played League of Ireland football already and due to whatever reasons of their own are unable to commit to League of Ireland football.
There are some talented young players coming through in the MSL and will get the opportunity to play League of Ireland football if they are interested. It is a big commitment and a bigger step up playing in the LOI.
“The teams are a lot more organised and the players are fitter and stronger. There are many players in the MSL who have made the step up and have gone on to play for various different League of Ireland teams showing the strength that is in the league.”
As a player now his ambitions for the club are very much the same as when he was a supporter at the start of the season.
“The main goal for everyone involved in the club is to reach the playoffs. Everyone in the club is working very hard on and off the pitch to try and make that happen and hopefully, we can be in those places come the end of the season. I’ve been watching the games online like everyone else due to covid since the start of the season.
“It’s great to have supporters back watching the games and supporting the team. There is great quality and plenty of competition for places in the squad and come the end of the season we hope to be in the playoff spot and I hope I can play my part in achieving that.”
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