COBH RAMBLERS have signed former Anderlecht, QPR and Oxford United underage player Harlain Mbayo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo U21 international joins the St Colman’s Park side for the 2022 League Of Ireland First Division season.
Having moved to Belgium from DR Congo at a young age, Mbayo spent time in Anderlecht’s academy before his family moved to England.
The centre back then went on to feature for QPR and Oxford United’s underage sides, before moving to Scotland to join SPL club Aberdeen. Mbayo spent four years in Scotland, including a spell with Airdrie.
Outlining why he joined Cobh Ramblers, Mbayo said:
“When the opportunity came to come to Cobh I spoke to the gaffer(Darren Murphy) and my agent and came up to my first training session.
“I really enjoyed it and it was an easy decision to come and be a part of a young but really hungry side.
“Moving to Ireland wasn’t something I had planned but I’m really happy to be here and just want to do my part for the team and club to achieve our goals.
“I’m a central defender and quite rightly I like to defend and win tackles and be very physical. But the aspect of the game I enjoy the most is getting on the ball and being to play forward to help the team on the attack. I also like to be very vocal.
“Since coming to Cobh everyone associated with the club has made me feel very welcome and I just want to repay that by my work on the pitch. Hopefully we can get off to a winning start on Friday for our opening game of the season.” Ramblers supporters could get a first glimpse of Harlain Mbayo in action on Friday night, when Cobh are playing host to Wexford at St Colman’s Park.
Speaking ahead of the Wexford clash, Cobh midfielder Jason Abbott spoke about the strength in depth which is in the Ramblers first team squad for 2022. Along with Mbayo, a number of young players have signed for Cobh from Cork City this term.
“There is competition in every place. No one is safe and everyone is fighting to get into that starting eleven.
“You know you have to be at it every single training session or someone will come in and take your place.
“So it is a great place to be pushing each other to get into that eleven. It can only be good for the entire squad.
“We need to make sure St Colman’s Park is a fortress for us and pick up as many points at home as we can.
“Build that foundation that we can go away from home and pick up the remaining points that we need."