A GOOD bond between players, management and fans will be the key to Cobh Ramblers' performances this season says midfielder Dale Holland.
Fourteen points from their opening eight games has given the club huge belief that they can compete at the top this year and for Holland and team mates, having a United club where fans play a massive part, has been a huge boost to the start of their season.
“There is a good bond between the squad, management, fans and everyone involved in the club this year and it’s a good place to be at the moment,” said Holland.
“Since I’ve come to Cobh I have really enjoyed it, especially this year as everyone is in it together. There is always a great atmosphere on match night and we are very grateful to the fans who come out to every game and are a huge support to us."
Holland made the move to the East Cork club in 2022 after six years with Cork City and while he’s enjoying his time there, having started seven of the eight games this season, his hope is to get back playing in the Premier Division. He feels Cobh are more than capable of getting to the top.
“My aim is to definitely get back in the Premier Division, as a player in this country you want to be playing with and against the best players. Premier is a step up, but the aim is to be competing against the best teams every week.
“I feel like every game this year you can see in our performance that the management have got everything spot on. We’ve had a few games where we’ve started slow and it cost us a possible three points up against Harps and Waterford. But the main thing is we have learned from these losses.
“I think the best team performance of the season so far for me was Bray last week. We knew ourselves we had a good weeks training and the squad was buzzing going into it for the whole 90 mins we worked on what we did during the week."
The match he was most disappointed with this season was the Harps draw.
The slow start cost us, you could even see in the second half when we were 2-2 that we should have being going home with the three points.
“Pre-season with Shane and Fran this year was tough but very enjoyable as well the way they wanted us to set up and play this year. I think everyone just bought into it straight away and as soon as it clicked I have loved it we just need to keep it going now.
“The league this year is probably tougher than it was last year there’s no easy games in this league, anyone can take points off anyone as you’ve seen so far this year with some of the results. This has given the team a boost as we know we are as good as any team on any given night. We just need to keep focused and put in good performances every single week.
“I was at City for six years, four of those with the first team so I’ve had plenty of experience. I try bring that experience into every training session and game and I think that mentality is from every player across the squad which has really upped the tempo. Competition for places is huge which makes training more intense which is brilliant.
The 23-year-old Midleton man has been a key player for Shane Keegan's side and finishing at the top is the aim.
“There’s a great morale in the squad at the moment and everyone has a great mentality wanting to compete at the top. I have every faith that we will have a good year."