Cobh Ramblers look to home comforts against champions Shels 

After a badly-needed first league victory for manager Darren Murphy, Ramblers host Shelbourne at St Colman's Park
Cobh Ramblers look to home comforts against champions Shels 

Action from Cobh Ramblers versus Cabinteely's in their sides League of Ireland First Division match at Stradbrook Road. Picture: Moya Nolan

COBH Ramblers play their final home game of the season tonight when they host the recently crowned champions Shelbourne at St Colman’s Park.

After recording his first league victory as Ramblers boss, Darren Murphy will be hoping to end the campaign on a positive note and to build momentum for 2022.

To their credit, the performances over recent weeks have been generally alright; however to get a deserved win away to Cabinteely last week was a much welcomed shot in the arm for Murphy.

“Football is all about results really,” said Murphy.

“We have been building the last couple of weeks on our performances and to get a win at the end of it is what you look for in a training week.

“The performances over the last couple of weeks have been really good. We have come up against Bray and Galway, two good sides as well.

“We were unlucky not to get results at home and a few things didn’t go our way.”

Murphy went into detail at the Ramblers press conference regarding what he hopes his tenure at Ramblers will be defined by.

Although there are solid structures being put in place, he acknowledges that getting positive results will ultimately be one of his primary objectives.

“Internally with coaches, managers and players, anything outside of the play-offs is last in the First Division.

“I think any team outside the play-offs is in the same boat. It doesn’t matter if you come last or just outside the play-offs in sixth. The club is always looking to the future. That is the whole point of having an academy in place.

“We have gone down to the underage games this year and have watched players within the academy and have got to know them on a first name basis.

“That is good for the club; that we have an eye on them going forward.

Be it an U14 player or an U19 player, there is a future at Cobh Ramblers for young players. That is something the club wants to carry on with the connections with Burnley and Villarreal, that they really want to push that dream through for players.

“For us in the first team, we have had a look at some of the U19s and they have done really well. That does give us hope of progression, that the academy system works. So we will be looking at every angle.

On getting positive results and trying to get Cobh up the table, Murphy added: “Although you want to build a structure, at the end of the day you have to win matches. We will be going into next season and we will be looking to win matches.

“So if there are young players winning games for us, there will be young players playing; If it is older players winning the games for us, older players will play.

“We don’t turn around and say we are putting all our eggs in one basket. We have to prepare in pre-season, get that right and start winning matches.”

Shels will be back in the Premier Division for 2022. They have been without question the best team in the First Division and are deserving champions.

It will be interesting to see what sort of a side Ian Morris lines out with here, as attention now for The Reds will shortly turn towards planning for life back in the top flight of Irish football.

Cobh recorded a 2-2 draw away to Shelbourne in Tolka Park back at the end of July.

Shels took the lead twice through goals by Dayle Rooney and Michael O’Connor, but Ramblers responded in kind through finishes from Danny O’Connell and Nathan O’Connell to come away from Dublin with a well-earned draw.

With two games remaining for Ramblers against Shels and Athlone Town, Murphy will be hoping for further positive performances and results before the conclusion of the campaign.

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