FORMER Cobh Ramblers player Darren Murphy will take charge of his first game as the club’s permanent first-team manager on Saturday night, as they host Bray Wanderers.
Last week, he was appointed for 2022 and 2023.
“I am delighted, especially after playing with the club and being involved more recently with the U19s,” Murphy said.
“I am delighted with the backroom team and the squad that is there, also the work the club is doing in general around the community: It is a good place to be.
The club sees the work that we are doing. The backroom team is really working hard off the pitch, trying to bring in the best of everything that we can for the players and the club.
“I really appreciate the club showing faith in me and my team. We are all happy to continue on after our short spell so far.”
After appointing him interim first-team manager in July, Ramblers have decided to back the vision and plan Murphy has for the club.
Despite results not improving significantly since the departure of Stuart Ashton, this appointment does seem like a longer-term approach by the club.
When asked to describe what his main targets will be as Ramblers manager, Murphy said that he wants to see the club progress on the field as much as it has off the field.
“The club off the pitch is looking to be successful and they are putting in a lot of effort,” Murphy said.
“They would be fools if they didn’t expect that on the pitch as well. Our job is to do that. I think, coming in as a manager or a coach, yes, you want to build a structure and a project.
“But you do want to win. That is the ultimate goal of football when you go in at the start of the season.
“We don’t want the club to be mid-table or at the bottom; you want to be up around the top. Every team goes in with that attitude at the start of any season. So we will be no different.
“We want to be challenging and we want to be successful. Also, we want to help guide the players and improve the players, whether they stay here or go to Burnley or the likes of Villarreal.
“We want them to be ready for that situation if it comes up. Our goal and intention is to make every player better. We are there to help and guide them as much as we can. I think, when you have that as your goal, it is a good start.”
Bray Wanderers make the trip to St Colman’s Park knowing that a win would help to rubber-stamp a promotion play-off place.
The Wicklow side, managed by Gary Cronin, are in fifth spot and holders of the final play-off position.
With Athlone five points behind, Cork City eight points behind, and with five league matches remaining, Bray will know there are teams looking to chase them down should they slip up in Cobh.
Looking ahead to the match against Bray Wanderers, Cobh boss Murphy is anticipating a big test and he feels his side will need to be ready.
“Bray are a decent team,” Murphy said. “They are a very tidy football team. They like to play, but they can mix it up as well. We’ve watched them the last couple of games.
“We’ll come up with our opposition analysis for the game and get ready during the training sessions this week.
“Every game in this league is tough and every game in this league is different. Bray could have played last week and they could be a totally different side when they come to Cobh.
We need to be prepared for that tough game. Bray will be looking for points coming down to St Colman’s Park as well, so we will need to be ready for it.”
When these two teams last faced one another at St Colman’s Park, back in April, it finished in a 1-1 draw.
Brandon Kavanagh had given Bray the lead before Charlie Lyons equalised from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining. More recently, Bray won the meeting between the teams in July, 2-1, after Ian Turner had given Cobh the lead.