A TRIP to face Longford Town is next on the agenda for Cobh Ramblers in the League Of Ireland First Division on Saturday night at Bishopsgate, 7.30pm.
Although Cork City won the cup tie in St Colman’s Park, there has generally been an improvement in performances since Shane Keegan took over at Ramblers.
This was evident by the results and wins Ramblers secured in their most recent league outing at home to Bray Wanderers, along with the victory over Rockmount in the Munster Senior Cup.
At this stage, the remaining league games will likely be used with one eye on 2023, where Ramblers will hope to have a much greater challenge at the promotion playoffs and by then Shane Keegan will hope to have an even stronger stamp on the team.
So far though, Keegan has given Cobh supporters reason for some optimism and something to look forward to, after what has been a disappointing 2022 season overall.
The past few games have shown glimpses of there being talent to work with, as players such as Daragh O’Sullivan Connell and Luke Desmond have done well.
While the fact that teams at underage level, such as the Cobh Ramblers U19 team, are having a very good campaign also bodes well for a potentially promising future.
When asked is he pleased with the progress made to date with the club, Ramblers boss Shane Keegan said:
“Definitely without a doubt. I hope I am not speaking too soon, but the Waterford game looks like it’s a million miles away at this stage based on what we produced in the league game [3-1 win against Bray], the Munster Senior Cup game [4-0 against Rockmount] and now the FAI Cup game against Cork City.
“We have done really well in all three. Everybody understands their role and what is being asked of them.
“The best way to put it is, if we can keep the performance to that level every week, ok we need to work a little bit on what we are doing in the final third. But in general, if we can keep the performance to that standard for the rest of the season, we should put ourselves in a position to pick up a lot of points.
“We are heading up to play Longford on Saturday and it is amazing for the lads. Very simply the lads heading into next Saturday on the back of good form and knowing that if they win next Saturday, they will have picked up as many wins in their last two league games, as they had done in the rest of the season.
“We have to create these mini-challenges and mini aims for ourselves between now and the end of the season, to keep us tuned in and motivated. That is the way we have to look at it.”
Ramblers will be seeking to make the most out of the trip to the Midlands and build on recent weeks.
Longford come into this particular clash in 4th place in the league table. They are in a good position at the moment to make the end-of-season playoffs.
Last time out in the FAI Cup, Longford went down to a 4-0 defeat against Dundalk at Oriel Park.
In their most recent outing in the league, Longford secured the victory in the most dramatic of circumstances against Waterford at the RSC.
After Griffin had given Waterford the lead, Longford levelled the game up through an 84th-minute Jordan Adeyemo finish, before they secured the three points with a goal in the 96th minute courtesy of Sam Verdon.
Meanwhile, Cobh in recent days have announced the signing of Liam Kervick on loan from Waterford FC.
The 19-year-old winger came through Waterford’s academy set-up and made his first team debut earlier this year in one of two First Division appearances.
Goalkeeper Andy O’Donoghue has departed the St Colman’s Park club, having initially joined Ramblers from Munster Senior League side Midleton FC.
Following on from this weekend, Ramblers are in action away from home next weekend as well when they face Wexford.
Then on August 19 at St Colman’s Park, the local derby bragging rights will be on the line once again as Cobh entertain Cork City.
After that Cobh will commence the month of September by taking on Treaty United at the Markets Field.
Before that though, Ramblers will hope they can come away from Longford with another encouraging performance and a decent result.