The Premier Division!!! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 4 – Part 28 – Cobh Ramblers – 2022 Pre-Season

I’m under no illusions – we will lose more games than we win and it will be a struggle to stay up. But we’ll give it a bloody good go. And a large part of that will be down to this pre-season. Can we secure the likes of Brian Sammon, David Evans, Dara Costelloe & Anthony Meade for another season? Can we entice the like of Brian Connolly (Limerick) to the club – basically can we raid the 1st Division for the best players, maybe even get some cast-offs from England and Scotland???

We have a few staff members now happy to renew contracts.

  • Alex Hughes (Scout) – £25/wk (10’s for judging current and potential ability)
  • Ryan Evans (Head Physio) – £45/wk ( 10 for Physiotherapy)
  • Liam Doyle (Head Scout) – £50/wk (9’s for judging current and potential ability)

It’s a slow December – putting some feelers out but I’m really awaiting all the releases at the end of the month – January 1st will be the start of the build.

We’ve had a tax bill of £13k, but a new Kit Sponsor has come in at just under £16k for the year, so swings and roundabouts there.

OK. So we’re at 1st January 2021. We’ve had one piece of good news.


Anthony Meade joins for another year. Brian Sammon is a no (Shamrock wants to give him a shot in the first team), David Evans is a no (Turned us down after the loan bid was accepted, and now they want him in the first team) and Dara Costelloe has now had an offer put in for him as he’s a free agent (only wants £120/wk, but we may have to pay a decent whack in compensation…).

We’ve released the following:

And got best part of £800/wk off the wage bill.

We’ve also received the £12,250 yearly payment from Shamrock Rovers as their affiliate.

We are entertaining our senior affiliate Shamrock Rovers on the first day of the season. Just got a news story that the link has been terminated as we’re in the same division.

We’ve also been give just over £40k for TV Rights for the coming season 🙂 And we are to fight bravely against relegation.


We got Dara for nothing 🙂 He joins on just £120/wk as our starting left winger.

We’ve also hired another Physio, Gerald Stevenson, who has 13 for Physiotherapy (The leaving Physio had 6)

Friendly: Cobh Ramblers 5 (Hughes 40, Collins 54, 57, O’Neill 73, Melody 81) Cobh Wanderers 1 (Deady 12) Att 543 (108 Away)

A much better second half than first, and our first 3 goals were all headers by centre-backs. Adam Hughes with the first, Triallist DC Josh Collins with 2 in 4 minutes before a nice volleyed tap-in by triallist STC O’Neill and break-away finish by triallist AMR Conor Melody.


Alan Kehoe

  • 25yo DL
  • 6ft (IRL he’s 10cm/4.5in shorter :))
  • Comes in on a free after 3 years at Limerick (Av 7.09 last season on 14 games)
  • IRL he’s playing in Iceland with Njardvik in the 3rd Tier after spending time playing for/studying at the University of New Hampshire in the USA.

We welcome Alan Kehoe to the squad as the starting left back. Good defensively with decent passing, crossing and dribbling, good mentals and naturally fit Alan should see a lot of game time this season. £220/wk, 3* CA 4* PA, B- from the fans but they seem pleased.


Josh Collins

  • 24yo DC
  • 6ft 2in
  • Joins on a free after spending his career to date with U.C.D.
  • IRL he’s still with U.C.D.
  • Older brother of Nathan Collins (Stoke FC)

We welcome Josh on a free as a starting centre back. Decent mentals and physicals, Heading, Marking & Tackling and 6ft 2in, he should do a job for us. £150/wk as well, so not breaking the bank.


Ryan Graydon

  • 22yo M/AM RL
  • 6ft
  • Comes in from Waterford on loan
  • IRL he’s at Bray Wanderers after time at Bohemians

We welcome Ryan (We are paying his wages @ £300/wk) as our starting right winger as David Evans is staying with Shamrock Rovers. Quick, with great dribbling, good first touch, work rate and flair, I hope he can be half as successful as David was – his attributes suggest he could be.


Conor Melody

  • 24yo M/AM RL
  • 5ft 6in
  • Joins on a free from U.C.D. after time at Galway Utd.
  • IRL he’s been with Galway since 2015

Conor joins us as our backup left/right winger. He had a great season for galway in 2019 before going to U.C.D. where he’s stagnated a bit. He should get a fair amount of time on the pitch this season. A very solid player, £220/wk isn’t too bad.


Enda Curran

  • 29yo STC
  • 6ft
  • Comes in on a free from Limerick FC, a slower last season after 2 really good ones (7.41 & 7.28 averages)
  • IRL he’s at Galway Utd, after time at Longford, Derry & Mervue

Enda comes in from Limerick to lead the line/possibly rotate with someone else who’s joining soon this season with Brian Sammon not being available to us. He’s a proven goalscorer and I’m hoping his off the ball and anticipation will help him link up with Eoin Porter like Brian did. £450/wk and added benefits feels a bit OTT, but he’s a known goalscorer.

Our U19’s have played Athlone U19 in a friendly, winning 3-0 (goals from 16yo AMR John O’Brien & a brace from 16yo MC David McMahon)

Friendly : Cobh Ramblers x (Curran 8) Dundalk x (McEleney pen 16, Duffy 41, McShane 49) Att 292 (49 Away)

A loss to set pieces again, a pen, direct free kick and corner. Curran’s goal was gorgeous and a real throwback to the fluidity of the end of last season. Real positives to be had.

The Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final has been drawn for this season – away at Mervue Utd. We’re looking for a Three-peat 🙂


Paul O’Neill

  • 22yo STC
  • 6ft 1in
  • Comes in on a free from Glentoran in Belfast, where he started his career
  • IRL he’s still there

Paul O’Neill is an interesting one – outside my scouting range but he was happy to come in on trial. He will be vying for the starting striker spot with Enda Curran. Looks useful, good finishing and heading for this level, determined and decent acceleration. Welcome Paul.

And this leaves our current squad depth (3* CA and up) like this:

We have a decent starting 11, and not much else. We have about £1700 wage bill left – Might get a Centre Mid/DM or 2, maybe another Centre Back if they are good enough. We have 2 loans left, so might go down that route.

Only 5/2 on to get relegated….

Friendly: U.C.C. 1 (Wilson 10) Cobh Ramblers 3 (Curran 58, Costelloe 74, Lewis pen 76) Att 94 (79 Away)

A little bit of a struggle until the wall was breached – 30 shots to 3, 15 on target v 2, 4 Clear-Cut/5 Half Chances to 0, so domination, just took a while.

Friendly: Clonmel Town 0 Cobh Ramblers 4 (Hourihane pen 19, Mihoubi 20, Sobowale 29, O’Neill 30) Att 53 (12 Away)

This game came 3 days after the U.C.C. friendly so a totally rotated team was put out. And it was all over as a contest in the first 30 minutes. A decent showing from the second string.

Friendly: Cobh Ramblers 7 (Porter 23, Curran 29, 31, 58, Mihoubi 72, 79, 82) Shamrock Rovers 0 Att 306 (81 Away)

Seeing as we are playing Shamrock in a week in our first league game it could be an interesting test against what looks to be a strong side, though i’m not expecting anything (really not expecting anything this season TBH). Some really nice periods of play from the boys today, in what turned out to be a bit of a demolition job, and all the goals were beautifully put together moves with some lovely passing. The boys Evans and Sammon came on for Shamrock in the 2nd half, and they combined on one highlight, but the hat-tricks from Curran and Mihoubi were absolutely sublime. I know it’s “Just a friendly” but Shamrock finished 3rd in the league last year!!!

And with that we wrap up this post. We still have some irons in the fire with regards to loan signings for Centre Midfield, just to bolster the numbers, and we will be back next time for our first 5 games of what will be a tough campaign.

If we can get 4 points from the first 4 league matches there I’d be happy enough I think.

See you soon.

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