Today we will look at the 6 weeks from the start of Jan 2020 to mid Feb before our first league game, versus Longford Town.
New Signing – Alan Murphy
- 21 yo
- 5ft 11in
- Spent his career to date with Limerick FC – With them IRL until the club folded after a year out
The best of very limited numbers of left backs, Alan Murphy comes in as the best left back in the squad. Nothing more than solid, but has 16 determination which is superb. he is also on appearance fees only, so unless somebody swoops in for him he will be cost effective over a season.
New Signing – Eoin McCormack
- 24 yo
- 6ft 1in
- ST (Target Man/Pressing Forward)
- Started at Athlone Town before ending up at Galway Utd – may be without a club IRL
Eoin comes to us on £140/wk, so not cheap but a very solid Taget Man/Pressing Forward with good free kicks and penalties. Again he is my word for this transfer window – solid.
So our player requirements in the last post were as follows:
A good backup DC, backup DR, starting WBL, backup WBR, first team DM, first team ML, another good MC, backup AMR, first team ST.
We have signed:
- Jack Lynch -DRC – backup for both DC & DR
- Alan Murphy – Starting WBL
- Alan Byrne – Starting MC in a 3, can play DM
- Eoin McCormack – Starting ST
That leaves backup AMR & a better Ml than we have currently (Steven Nolan, 3*) but if a star (4/5*) player comes up in almost any position at a good price I would consider them.
New Signing – Peter Duffy (Scout)
Pretty bog-standard scout (Judging 4 Ability, 5 Potential) but we seem to have a £25/wk cap so just another body really.
We started off our pre-season with a friendly versus our closest rivals Cobh Wanderers, whilst playing our 3-5-2 BWM Press that we debuted in our win v Shelbourne at the back end of last season.
McCormack & Byrne slot in, the rest of the team is as it was at the end of last season (As such Dynamics are still Average for Cohesion so that’s good)
18th Jan – FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Byrne 29, Hanrahan 56, Turner 69) Cobh Wanderers 1 (Meade pen 19)
It took the lads a while to warm to the task in the pouring January rain, 1-1 at half time, new-boy Alex Byrne thunderous 25 yarder cancelling out Meade’s soft penalty. We went to a 4-1-4-1 DM Wing Play tactic in the second half, O’Riordan, Nolan & Turner on for Byrne, McCormack & Lyons.
Hanrahan scored!! moreover he hit the target, and it was a 1-on-1!! Ian Turner then scored a Direct Free Kick – What is the world coming to!! 3-1 it finished.
22nd Jan – FT Cobh Ramblers 6 (McCormack 20, O’Riordan 22, Leonard 31, Porter 52, Byrne 54, Nolan 64) Dungarvan 0
Similar setup today, 5-2-1-2 WB, with a few tweaks. Porter moves up to AM, McCormack to play as his preferred TM. Also a few personnel changes. McCormack opened his account with a tap-in after a saved 1-on-1, Ben O’Riordan made it 2 two minutes later in the (again) pouring rain with a back post header from a Mulgannon FK. Leonard made it 3 with a tap-in after a heavy touch from a Dungarvan Centre Back.
I swapped to our secondary tactic (4-1-4-1 DM Wide) for the second half. Eoin Porter scored a lovely 20 yarder in the bottom corner in the 52nd minute to make it 4, then minutes later Alex Byrne scored a nother piledriver from range to make it 5. Nolan made it 6 with a back-post tap-in after a beautiful deep cross from Fleming. A pretty dominant 6-0 win as you would expect.
25 Jan – Waterford Hibs 3 (O’Connor 44, Kerley 60, Hughes 89) Cobh Ramblers 5 (Byrne 2, Doherty 23, Turner 45+1, Taylor 57, Leonard 86)
We went with the secondary 4-1-2-3 Tactic for the first half, again with a decent rotation of squad members as this is the 3rd game in a week. We’re in Waterford and it isn’t raining (Its the ‘Sunny South-East’ and in the 2nd minute a cross-cum-shot from Alex Byrne sneaked in for his 3rd in 3 games. Daire Doherty made it 2 with a back-post header across the Keeper from a Turner corner. Waterford got one back just before half time with a 25 yarder from Eddie O’Connor, and we went up the other end and got our 3rd – Alan Murphy finding Ian Turner with a lovely cross; his header hit the post but he was on hand to tap-in the rebound. 3-1 at the half
We went to our 5-2-1-2 WB Press for the 2nd half. Kevin taylor, on for Alan Murphy volleyed home a back post Leonard (On for Doherty) cross to make it 4, But Waterford got a second with another outside-the-box goal. leonard made it 5 in the 86th, a blasted 1-1 after a long ball from Eoin Porter. Make it 3 >18 yard goals, Hughes for Waterford this time. A bit of a mad 5-3 in the end, could have been 4-0 very easily.
New Signing – Jordan Harmon
- 24 yo (Picture is from a while back)
- 5ft 10in
- AM/M RL
- Last with Wexford – Seems to have left them IRL in March 2019
- Cover for both Steven Nolan on the left & Ian Turner o the right.
The fans don’t seem to understand what this signing is – cover. Jordan covers both wings as mentioned, is quick & determined, and has rudimentary passing and crossing skills. £45/wk, I’m fine with that for a 24 yo. Interestingly when I took him in on trial first time (he came in twice) he was seen as a 4* current ability player….
The draw for the Munster Senior Cup QF’s (I know you have been chomping at the bit for this) has happened.
We are away at Ballinhassig (SW of Cork City) – Of the teams in the draw only Limerick, Cork City & us play league football.
New Signing – Victor Ekanem
- 30 yo
- 6ft 1in
- Spent time at Shamrock Rovers, Longford, Drogheda, Cabinteely & Athlone
Most probably our last signing, Victor is rated the best centre back and by far the best DMC at the club. Strong, Determined, Resolute, I hope Victor can add a little steel into the defensive area. £160/wk is paying for experience. Hoping he can gives us 2 years or so.
Our U19’s lost 2-1 to Bohemians U19 – 17 yo AMC Shane O’Flynn with a Penalty for Cobh.
We are now at the end of the month, and have our first proper friendly – U.C.D, who have just been relegated from the Premier Division, and are 2nd favourites to win our league (We are currently 8th favourite)
I’ve got a 3rd tactic being trained if we start coming up short with the other 2 against good opponents – a 4-1-4-1 Route One, up to our target man Eoin McCormack, keep it tight and scrap a lot. U.C.D Interestingly are playing the 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree of Doom….
31st Jan – Cobh Wanderers 0 U.C.D 2 (O’Farrell 57, Melody 86)
We started pretty well and looked bright and breezy throughout the half. Its a game killer though – Only 3 shots (2 UCD, 1 Cobh) and none on target at HT. Might be good as a shut-up-shop tactic.
I went back to the 5-2-1-2 WB Press for the second half, just to get a view of how that does in comparison. It was a totally different game. We hit the post in the first 5 minutes and it was highlight after highlight. Yet again though we concede a 25 yard thunderbolt – O’Farrell the scorer. Conor Melody (Was at Galway last year) scored late on after a ball over the top to make it 2-0 U.C.D. And that’s how it finished. Not too worried, that felt like a draw IMO, with all the player chopping-and-changing.
Just had an interesting new item – Cian Leonard is 5th favourite to be top scorer (Drogheda have the first 2, Chris Lyons & Stephen Meaney) – Lets see how that pans out!.
And we’ve hit month-end, and we all know what that means! Stats (Well, Attributes in this case as we’ve not played a competitive game yet).
Patrick Staunton (Non Contract 19 yo) really falling off, but nice to see Adam Mylod & Daire doherty still progressing nicely.
Daire is also getting taller (174cm now) And John Douglas turned 17 and put on 2kg 🙂 Must have been a hell of a party 🙂
Interestingly Charlie Fleming is now showing the ability to play at MR, which may be useful.
3rd Feb – Avondale 0 Cobh Ramblers 4 (Evan Murphy 2, Harmon 13, Doherty 70, 81)
We went with our 4-1-2-3 Wingenpress. Evan Murphy made it 1-0 in the 2nd minute with a lovely header from a Mulgannon FK. Jordan Harmon made it 2 with a far post header from a Nolan Cross. 2-0 at the half, plenty of shots & Possession.
A few tweaks to the same formation – the DM up to CM – 2 BWM and a BBM so Eoin Porter can have a rest. Doherty made it 3 on 70 after a Taylor cross wasn’t dealt with. Doherty got his second after a long ball over the top (Yes, a 1-on-1 scored!). A good 4-0 win, loving how Kevin Taylor & Steven Nolan work together on the left.
7th Feb – Cobh Ramblers 1 (Evan Murphy 34) Dundalk 5 (Duffy 15, 59 Hoare 18, 55, McEleney 78)
Our last friendly of pre-season, and it’s against the by-far biggest club in Ireland Dundalk. They have a wage bill over £1M/annum and have won the Premier Division in 5 of the last 6 seasons. IRL they qualified for the Europa League group stages, in game they got to the 4th Qualifying Round before being knocked out on away goals by Crvena Zvedza!!! So they are more than useful. As such we go 4-1-4-1 DM Route One 🙂 🙂 🙂
We started really well, with a few corners, unfortunately Charlie Fleming picked up a bruised ankle (1-2 days). Dundalk scored in the 15th minute & 18th, Duffy & Hoare (Both headers), so I drew Ekanem back into the middle of a back 5. Interestingly Evan Murphy got another goal – a volleyed finish from a deep Ian Turner FK so we went into HHT only 2-1 in arrears.
Sean Hoare made it 3-1 with yet another header, and Michael Duffy scored a worldie running it 80 yards before finishing in the top corner to make it 4. McEleney made it 5 with a deflected header, and it finished 5-1. is it better to attack in games like this where the opponent is so much better?? The stats show it was close in all but goals – they were deadly, 5 goals from 8 shots on target.
That brings our friendlies to an end – We face Longford next Friday at St. Colmans Park – below is a roundup of all the Friendly goals.
I’ve had some recent interest in a young forward of mine, Connor Farrelly, so i’ve signed him on a non-contract for now (Cabinteely have been sniffing around) – 11 Finishing, 13 Heading, 13 Acc, 12 Pac, natural Poacher & AF, I’ll keep an eye on him throughout the season.
Cian Leonard has bruised his knee in training – Just 1-2 days though, may not be available for Longford.
Lastly as I wrap this post up I’ve only got one worry for the season ahead – what happens if Eoin Porter gets injured? I’ll be trying to sort something out from a loan perspective I think, we’ve just not got any other playmakers, just lots of BWM’s. See you soon.