#FM20 Post 4 – Cobh Ramblers – Plugging away in the League plus light-relief in the Cup – August 2019

Sponsors of the League of Ireland First Division

A bumper post today – 3 league games and the Challenge Cup v Drogheda. It should be a good test of our credentials plus could keep us clear of the dreaded bottom spot (Which is all the board really wants us to achieve)

As its the start of the month we can look at the Attribute changes & stats (Just the Cabinteely game) for July 2019.

Of the first-teamers James McSweeney showed a determination increase (love that, determination is massive in FM), but the rest are either U19 or on the squad fringes.

I will be fixing the staff (Head of Youth Development & Coach will be upgraded) that obviously affects the above, but our Ass. Man looks very useful for this level:

Stats-wise for the Cabinteely game it was nice to see Charlie Fleming passing a bit more, but completion is not good – I may need to shorten the passing a bit. Its also nice to see Ian Turner attempting so many crosses, even if only 2 of them connected – Hit Early Crosses off as we’ve not got the height up front to benefit, and Low crosses tend to be easily picked off. The standout stats were for Lyamine Mihoubi though, our 16 yo ML, 2 goals from 3 shots on target from 4 attempts, very nice indeed, and I hope to see ian Turner getting in similar positions on the right side.

Our Dynamics are a bit ropey – Poor Cohesion, though that can take up to a season to become good, though The dressing room atmos is Good trending up, mamangerial support is good. We have no team leaders or highly influential players currently – bad because form can be very erratic because of this, good because I can get rid of older players and not worry too much about the dressing room. Paul Hunt, our mistake-prone keeper is one of the influentials. he is a Model Citizen, so its a shame from a mentoring-standpoint that he will need to be moving on, but he is too expensive (£110/wk) to counternance him staying on.

Financially we are £4k in the black and have £275 left of our £2,076/wk wage budget – the signings you saw in the last post have taken this up a bit but I hope to get this down a bit in the close season. I feel this league will be very difficult financially unless we can get decent crowds as we don’t play many games – Only 27 in the league a season between mid February and early November. You get 36 in the Premier so we need to strive next season for promotion, however ludicrous that sounds currently.

However a bit of positive news on the finance front:

I can’t see any info on Sponsorship money from last season, but this is currently 2 months wages a year covered 🙂

Firstly I will list out all the non-1st team results here:

  • 3/8/19 – U19 South Elite – Cobh U19 4 Waterford U19 3 – O’Sullivan, Farrelly, Harlson, Paul Murphy
  • 10/8/19 – U19 South Elite – Bray U19 1 Cobh U19 2 – Doherty (2)
  • 18/8/19 – Friendly – Cobh U19 3 Castlebar 0 – Ian Quinn (2), Henry
  • 24/8/19 – Friendly – Cobh U19 2 Tolka Rovers 0 – Ian Quinn, Lamb
  • 31/8/19 – U19 South Elite – Cobh U19 2 Kerry 0 – Connor Farrelly (2)

A good month for the youngsters, 2 league wins out of 3 and 2 friendly wins. Cobh U19 are currently 6th in the U19 Southern Elite Division. Ian Quinn (17, STC) and Connor Farrelly (18, STC) both scored 3 goals this month.

For the rest of this post (And the ones going forward) I will report back day-by-day, or whenever anything interesting happens.

Friday 2nd August 19:45 – Irish First Division – Cobh Ramblers v Limerick F.C.

Limerick ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_F.C. ) are in dire straits financially at the moment IRL, looking set to go into liquidation, being c €500k in debt with no League of Ireland licence for 2020, and they finished the 2019 season rock bottom after being deducted 26 points for failing to comply with the LoI profitability and sustainability rules. Without this deduction they would have been 6th, 5 points above Cobh.

In game they sit in 8th, 5 points behind us, so a win (or avoiding a loss) is very important here.

Same set-up as against Cabinteely – a few tweaks (slightly less wide, shorter passing, Work Ball into box) and our new lads coming in (Hanrahan up top, Porter as BBM in the middle, Nolan at ML, Evan Murphy at DC. A fair bit of match condition to be built up for these guys.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Porter 60) Limerick FC 2 (McNamee 33,54) Att 497 (137 Away)

Key Highlights v Limerick

It was a good close game until a long ball forced an error from Mylod, McNamee running through and tapping in for Limerick. McNamee made it 2 after a good move, precipitated by a poor McSweeney defensive header – one of a number I’ve seen today. Eoin Porter got us back in the game just before 60 mins with a lovely strike after a Leonard lay-off. We were getting chances to get back level-pegging, Brian Murphy, on for Hanrahan hitting the post just before 75 mins and Leonard taking too many touches on 80. The game was really stretched, but we just didn’t have the composure to finish the chances. 2-1 it finished to Limerick, Porter standing out in midfield. I think we would have been a bit lucky to get a point, Limerick had 4 clear cut chances to our 1.

In processing the xG Data I saw Hanrahan had 6 chances – and missed the target with every single one of them………

Limerick seem to be pulling themselves clear of the bottom spots, now just 2 points behind us, but Wexford and Athlone (Beat those two and we will be fine) bot lost. Cabinteely beat Bray 3-0 Away – Bray are up next for us in the league.

Eoin Porter made it into the First Division team of the week.


Dara Mulgannon (in black)

  • 20 years old
  • 5ft 9in
  • M/AM C
  • Same as Evan Murphy, with Galway Utd IRL

Dara Mulgannon signs on a Non-Contract deal – £30 per appearance – and will be our main back-up centre mid. Natural as a BWM he is very solid with good mentals for his age.

Monday 12th August 19:45 – First Division – Bray Wanderers v Cobh Ramblers

Bray Wanderers ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bray_Wanderers_F.C. ) hail from County Wicklow, and play at the the Carlisle Grounds. IRL they finished the 2019 season in 5th, 7 points outside the playoff spots and Cabinteely, 15 points ahead of Cobh. In game they are now 6th, level on points with Cabinteely, 9 points ahead of us. Bray were relegated with Limerick from the Premier Division after the 2018 season, having last been in the 1st Division in 2004.

The Carlisle Grounds – Home of Bray Wanderers

Its a 174 mile, 3 hour journey one way to Bray, just south of Dublin for the match – There are no local derbies for us in this league.

Mihoubi comes back in for Nolan, Hanrahan changes sides and plays as a Pressing Forward on Support. Bray go with a ‘Positive 4-4-1-1’.

FT Bray Wanderers 0 Cobh Ramblers 4 (Leonard 15, 30 Evan Murphy 62 Turner pen 82) Att 981 (23 Away)

Key Highlights v Bray Wanderers (Cobh in change strip)

We start in our change strip (Sky Blue shirt, Claret shorts) and Bray were very much in the ascendancy in the first 10. We then had a few chances and the breakthrough came in the 15th minute – a break after Hurley winning the ball back led to Leonard scoring well from a 1-on-1. 1-0 Cobh. 1 shot, 1 goal. He should have made it 2 in the 26th from a similar position. But he did make it 2 just 4 minutes later, a lovely through ball by Hurley, Leonard running on an stroking it past Sava in the Bray goal. 2-0!! Cobh definitely in charge of the game now. 2-0 at HT, 5 shots, 3 on target, 2 goals.

The second half started with Bray on the front-foot. Calamity in the 55th minute, Cian Leonard was scythed down and has a foot injury – really hope its not a break – Bri Murphy on like-for-like. Reverted to the 4-1-4-1 Direct Counter Attack, feeling like we need to protect the lead. Very soon after we made it 3, a scrambled corner landing at the feet of Evan Murphy, who scored his first for the club from a few inches out. Mulgannon on for Hurley. And the rout was completed in the 82 minute – Ian Turner converting a penalty after a foul on Mihoubi. It could have been morte in the closing minutes such was the dominance of the lads, but it finished 4-0 – a superb result! 5 Clear cut chances today, very happy with chance creation, David Hurley with 4 chances created, 6 Key Passes and 2 assists as the BWM 🙂

A really good Monday-night of football. Athlone pull themselves off of bottom with their 4th win of the season v Drogheda, who we play next in the Cup. Shelbourne played out a 7-2 v Longford – it was 6-2 at HT! Cabinteely pick up another 3 points condemning Wexford to bottom spot.

Bugger – Cian may be back for the last 3 games in October.

Now this puts our result v Limerick into perspective – they just beat the top of the Premier League-by-13-points Dundalk in the League Cup!!

4 in team of the week this week – 3 defenders, McSweeney, Evan Murphy & Fleming, and Hurley, our creative BWM in midfield. Sherbourne makes up the other 7 players.

Saturday 17th August 15:00 – Irish Senior Challenge Cup 1st Round – Cobh Ramblers v Drogheda Utd

Drogheda Utd ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drogheda_United_F.C. ) travel from Co. Louth, North of Dublin for today’s game. They are currently 3rd in our league in game; IRL they finished 2nd in the 2019 season, losing 2-1 to Finn Harps in the promotion playoff so will be in the First Division for the 2020 season. IRL they have played the majority o the last 20 years in the Premier Division, but over the last few years they’ve bounced up and down between the Premier and current 1st Division.

A few changes due to injury (Bri Murphy in for Leonard) and suspension (Mulgannon for Hurley, O’Riordan for McSweeney) plus games on the left for our 16yo WB Douglas & Steven Nolan, in place of Taylor & Mihoubi. Drogheda go with a 4-4-2 and come into the having lost their last 2 matches, to Longford & Athlone Town.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Porter 38) Drogheda Utd 1 (Lyons 90+4) AET – Cobh Win 3-2 on Pens – Att 274 (48 Away)

Key Highlights v Drogheda (Irish Senior Challenge Cup 1st Round)

Coming off a 4-0 I just wanted to see more of the same, though with the changes to key personnel I knew that would be difficult. The game was very even, Drogheda shading it on chances until the 38th minute, when Eoin Porter hit a thunderbolt from 25 yards – 1-0 Cobh. At HT I swapped to the Counter Attack, Bri Murphy off for Lyons, O’Riordan moved up to DM as an Anchorman.

The second half was pretty quiet, Taylor on for Douglas at leftback. Both teams had chances but quality was lacking. Doherty on for Hanrahan, changed to a Pressing Forward. Time was ticking away, the deep Counter-Attack seemed to be paying off, but in the last minute of injury time Drogheda broke away, Lyons scoring at the far post. 1-1, Extra time it is…

A change to a Positive 4-3-3 for Extra Time – we will not go out wondering what would have been. We definitely had the better of the extra periods, Drogheda happy to try and beat us on the break, but it went to penalties, finishing 3-2 to Cobh, Adam Mylod the hero with 3 saves in the shootout.

A nice lump of cash for the win – we are now £11k in the black – might ask for a coaching course… And of course it was turned down as they are worrying about me leaving for a bigger club – maybe next season then.

We have a spare week so to keep the momentum up I’ve scheduled a friendly versus near-neighbours Carrigaline Utd. for the 23rd August before our last game of the month, which will be the 2nd round of the Irish Senior Challenge Cup, and the draw is as follows:

Very nice indeed – a non-league team, Avondale, comes to St. Colman’s Park. A great chance to get to the quarter finals.

Friday 23rd August 19:30 – Friendly – Cobh Ramblers v Carrigaline Utd

FT Cobh Ramblers 5 (Hurley 16 Hanrahan 21 Turner 49 O’Leary 65 Doherty 74) Carrigaline Utd 2 (O’Driscoll 55, 57) Att 128 (26 Away)

Friendly goals v Carrigaline

Just another morale/cohesion builder – at 3-0 up I changed the defence plus lines and we were stung for 2 quick goals, changed the lines back and we scored another couple. Team Cohesion now showing as Average.

Galway & Limerick played their game in hand on the 26th August – Galway beating a very-much in form Limerick 4-1 – Good for us as Limerick stay 5 points behind us with 6 to play.

We have an international call-up! Our reserve (Soon to be sold hopefully) keeper Paul Hunt is in the Gibraltar squad for 3 games in September.


I’ve offered and had accepted the following contracts:

  • Cian Leonard – £45/wk (Was £45/wk)
  • Ben O’Riordan – £65/wk (£65/wk)
  • Adam Mylod – £60/wk (£45/wk)
  • Matthew Lamb – £50/wk (£45/wk)
  • Ian Turner – £220/wk (£170/wk)
  • David Hurley – £75/wk (£45/wk)
  • Kevin Taylor – £45/wk (£45/wk)
  • James McSweeney – £75/wk (£65/wk)

So £110/wk on the wage bill but we have these guys for next season, and they are all either first teamers or kids with 4.5*+ Potential. The only fly-in-the -ointment is Charlie Fleming, who wont rejoin as Cobh aren’t a big enough club for him (He literally joined a few days before I did!). He’s our best player, so that would be a bit of a bummer.

Friday 30th August 19:30 – Irish Senior Challenge Cup 2nd Round – Cobh Ramblers v Avondale

We’ve happened upon a local derby! Avondale United ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avondale_United_F.C._(Cork) ) are from Carrigaline, just 6 miles away if we take the Passage West Ferry. They are in the Munster Senior League, as I type they are 5th. They have won the FAI Intermediate Cup (For Munster, Leinster & Ulster Senior Leagues) a record 8 times, 5 times since 2010, including last season, beating Crumlin 1-0 at the Aviva in Dublin.

The Passage West Ferry – We should be able to get the team bus on there

No reason to not go full strength as our next game isn’t for a week. Giving mihoubi more time on the left, everybody else as you will. Avondale are playing a 4-4-1-1.

FT Cobh Ramblers 4 (Mihoubi 21, Bri Murphy 25, Hanrahan 34, Turner 88) Avondale 0 Att 258 (46 Away)

Key Highlights v Avondale

No pressure today – we’re just 33-1 favourites… They have 2 real players (Ages 34, 39, 40), what could possibly go wrong? As you would expect Avondale sat back and let us have the ball and it was only the keeper keeping them in the game with multiple saves in the first 15 minutes. But Mihoubi made it 1-0 in the 21st minute with a 22 yard shot placed in the bottom right of the Avondale net. Brian Murphy made it 2 in the 25th after lovely work by Porter. Hanrahan made it 3 in the 34th minute, lovely passing by Hurley & Porter put him in on goal and he finished well.

I brought O’Riordan on for Evan Murphy for the 2nd half as he was booked, no need to have anything silly like a sending-off to sour the result. O’Riordan nearly slipped up after 30 seconds, giving the ball away cheaply but Avondale hit the post and we scrambled it away. It was a much quieter half – Mulgannon on for Hurley after 65, Doherty for Brian Murphy on 70. Ian Turner made it 4 in the 88th minute with a 25 yard direct free kick. 4-0 it finished, job done, Quarter Finals it is.

Another lump of cash as well, very nice, Finances now at £20k in the black.

There was one league game today – Bray keeping Wexford bottom with a crazy 5-3 away win, Wexford were 2-0 up before O’Gorman’s goal for Bray in the 30th minute.

So that’s August 2019 done – not a bad first full month in management

Four competitive games, 3 wins and a tight loss. We definitely have 3 games in September, the Friday 13th game away to Wexford will be moved because of the Quarter Final, most probably to 4th October looking at the schedule. We will also be looking at all the stats goodness you can handle.

I expect this may be the last Cobh post I will get a chance to do before Christmas, so if it is I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂

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