COBH Ramblers have got off to a great start in the SSE Airtricity First Division.
With just one loss from six, Shane Keegan's presence for a full pre-season seems to have had a huge impact and this has been evident in their opening games.
With three wins over Kerry, Wexford and Treaty, two draws against Longford and Finn Harps, and a loss against Galway, the Cobh side are confident they can continue to do well.
Youngster Tiernan O’Brien has got off to the perfect start to the campaign. He's relished the step up to senior level and hit the net in the first two games.
“The difference a good start makes is unbelievable," explains O’Brien.
“Having 11 points so early in the season has given us a lot of confidence and it has made a very positive vibe in the dressing room which is really important.”
So while the East Cork club are motoring, they certainly aren’t getting carried away and the 19-year-old Fermoy man knows there’s a long way to go just yet.
“We have had a good start to the season but we know there is still a long way to go. Yes, we are entitled to feel confident but this confidence will only inspire us to keep pushing on and working harder. It was great for me to play my part in starting the season on a positive note scoring two goals in the first two games.
“There’s a great bunch of lads in the squad and all are equally working hard to put in a good performance week in, week out. There is a lot of competition for places which is good because it keeps us all on our toes and huge credit to the management team who ensure we are worked hard in every session in order to get the best out of us on match day.
"I’m happy with the game time I am getting at the moment having started four of the first five games this season.
Securing a spot in the Munster Cup final where they will face Cork City, was another huge lift for the squad.
“It is great to know we have a cup final to look forward to at this stage of the season. It just means competition gets higher and higher at every training session because of course everyone wants to be part of that local derby game, a repeat of last year's final, and therefore the tempo is high which is great."
O’Brien is with the club since 2018 having played U15, U17 and U19 before signing senior. He worked hard to make that progress and he still has the ambition to play to the highest level.
“I’ve had great years with Cobh, the highlight being winning the U19 league last year but I’ve also had great years at schoolboys. I started my career playing with my local club Fermoy before I moved to Watergrasshill at U13 level. We won Division 1 that year so I enjoyed some success before I joined Cobh."
Like most kids, the lively winger dabbled at other sports growing up, while also coming from a sporting family. However, soccer was always his favourite.
“It has always been soccer for me from a young age.
“I think every footballer's main goal is to go professional across the water so that is a huge ambition of mine and hopefully I can make that happen. It will take hard work of course but that is something I am willing to do. I am glad to be at a club who are willing to help me achieve that goal by giving me the opportunity with plenty of game time.
"Sport is huge in my family and the support certainly helps. My younger sister Erin plays with Cork City U19s while my first cousins the O’Brien-Whitmarshs all are well known playing at a decent level. I think it helps hugely when there’s that interest within the family and I look forward to progressing with this great club."