Welcome to the 2022 Post season/2023 Pre season. Lots of contracts expiring, lots of deals to be done, and at the end of the day this is a Journeyman – It might even be time to move on?
Firstly we will take a look at the player stats.
PASSING & CROSSING
Bosun Lawal & Ethan Devine top the passing completion, 6 players above 80% (82-83%). Eoin Porter and Ethan Devine best for Key Passes. Alan Kehoe very good for a full-back at 79% – Kane Lewis & Charlie Fleming low at the right-back position. Dara Costelloe also good at just under 80% as a winger.
Bosun Lawal stands out massively in the crossing – 36% completion. Daire Doherty & Conor Melody also doing well of those with a lot of crosses attempted. Ryan Graydon, David EVans and Dara Costelloe all quite weak from a crossing standpoint.
Anthony Meade steps above of everyone else – 17 jumping reach will help that 🙂 Kane Lewis with a good % at right back, otherwise we need to keep the ball on the floor. Anthony Meade with over 4 key headers per 90 as well! Funnily we have the best header completion in the League – 62%!!
TACKLING & INTERCEPTIONS
Alan Kehoe & Kev Taylor, the leftbacks, stand out on tackling completion, both over 90%. David Hurley doesn’t do very well as a BWM.
FOULS, MISTAKES & OFFSIDES
The left wingers Dara Costelloe & Lyamine Mihoubi standing out as being pests. David Evans drew nearly 4 fouls a game during his time with us!! The fullbacks, apart from Alan Kehoe again were quite mistake-prone. No real standouts with regards to offsides – Dara Costelloe quite low, to me means he’s too withdrawn for an AML on W(A)…
SHOTS, GOALS, ASSISTS, CHANCES & DRIBBLES
Dara Costelloe ended up top goalscorer with 11, almost a goal every 5 attempts, just under 38% of shots on target resulting in goals. Daire Doherty & Lyamine Mihoubi were the most accurate, over 65% shots on target. Dara, Daire & David (Evans) all above 0.4 goals/90 mins. Bosun Lawal made the most assists, with 6, Conor Melody by far the most chances with 18, over 1 a game. David Evans was the dribble king. Conor Melody & Dave Hurley need to be on ‘Shoots Less Often’, Under 40% shots on target. Eoin Porter weak for goals – 20 shots on target, just 2 goals – lots of weak shots to the keeper.
REDS & YELLOWS
Yes, 9 Reds and 92 yellows!!!! Need to drop that whilst still being combative.
We are Currently £17k in the Red, but should start the new season relatively flat as we will have a bit of prize money coming our way.
We will finish 6th in the League FFS!! B!!
Our U19’s beat Greystones Utd 4-0, goals from Phillips, Devine, Curran & Porter.
New Contract for me – £525/wk up from £350/wk
Also got some new contract signings:
- Axel Bernet – 19yo DC – £30/wk
- Adam Hughes – £190/wk
- Eoin Porter – £150/wk
- Ben O’Riordan £90/wk
- Dave Hurley £110/wk
All Fringe Player expectation, all on less than last year 🙂
- John Douglas – 19yo DRL – £40/wk
- Adam Mylod – £90/wk
All 1-year deals as well.
Our U19’s lost to Dundalk U19’s 2-0 in the U19’s National League Playoff QF.
- Conor Melody – £190/wk
- Charlie Fleming – £160/wk
Anthony Meade joins for 2 years from 1/1/23. I underutilised him this year, i won’t make that same mistake. He will be a starting Centre Back. £325/wk agreed. 6ft 4in, 17 Jumping Reach, 4* CA, 5* PA at 20 yo, I think with game time in 2023 he could become a star for us. And maybe get some goals from set pieces?
And we’ve had the last League game of the season – the final table is as follows:
Galway down, Sligo into the play-off, Euro spots all decided as Shamrock play St. Pat’s in the Irish Senior Challenge Cup Final.
Our U19’s had a friendly, beating Ballinasloe 3-0, goals from James Hobbs, Patrick Walker & Ryan O’Donnell.
Balance now £40k in the black – we will be just in the Red at the start of the 2023 season I think.
ANd we are into the relegation/promotion playoffs. Limerick lost 4-3 to Finn Harps on aggregate in the first round, Bohemians beat Finn Harps 6-3 in the 2nd, and now Sligo are playing Bohemians. And Sligo have taken a 4-1 lead back to Sligo for the 2nd leg, so it looks like Sligo will be staying up – Bohemians possibly consigned to the 2nd tier for another season.
Our U19’s had another game – Beating Maynooth town 2-0, goals from Kenny O’Shea and 16yo Liam Hartslief.
Sligo stay up, beating Bohemians 6-4 on aggregate.
Dara Costelloe – 3rd in Goal of the Season.
Adam Hughes the only new player in the First XI. Eoin McCormack (Retired Age 26) the only non-current player in the first XI.
Bosun Lawal Fans Player of the Season & Young Player, Dara Costelloe goal and signing of the season.
Make Most of Set Pieces 🙂 Get some big lads 🙂
Conor Melody signs a contract extension – £190/wk.
Shamrock Rovers win the Irish Senior Challenge Cup for 2022.
OK, 1st November – We are already £1k in the Red….. £18k paid out in bonuses for not getting relegated in that…
Gary Delaney (In Black)
- 28yo Centre Back
- 6ft 3in
- 3-4* CA
- Joins after 4 seasons with Cork City on a free. IRL he’s back with North End United playing as an Amateur.
Gary Delaney joins for a year as another big defender. Has the potential to be a good Ball Playing Defender.
Initial Budgets – Wage up to £10k/wk!! We won’t use anywhere need that!
World Cup 2022 Qatar has started – first 3 game days have England drawing 2-2 with Sweden, Brazil drawing 1-1 with Nigeria and France 1-1 with Australia. 37yo Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 105th goal for Portugal in their 3-0 tournament opener versus Qatar – 8.9 for his 21 minutes (1 Goal, 1 Assist) on as a impact-sub.
The day after USA got a creditable 0-0 versus Portugal.
Continental C gotten, Continental B started. My reputation now at 30%.
England won their 2nd game at the World Cup 2-1 versus Chile, having been 1-0 down until Dele Alli scored in the 64th minute. South Korea got a good win versus Uruguay 2-1 and Senegal a good 1-1 draw versus Germany.
A few shocks – Greece beating Portugal 2-1 (That Ronaldo chap with a penalty for Portugal) And England losing 2-0 to DR Congo!! All 4 teams in Group C have 4 points, England bottom with a -1 GD. DR Congo & Sweden go forward!! Germany Qualify by 1 goal as Italy beat them 3-2. Biggest shock of the groups definitely England.
- 23yo AMR/MC
- 6ft 2in
- 3.5* CA
- Comes in after 4 seasons as a regular for U.C.D.
- IRL he’s still there
Jack Keaney comes in from U.C.D. on a Free. Ostensibly a WTM on the right he can play in a number of positions – I see him as a Swiss Army Knife, mainly playing on the right but also in midfield, or even at right-back.
A couple of shocks in the Second Round at the World Cup – Portugal knocking Belgium out 3-2 AET and DR Congo beating Argentina 1-0! In two other huge ties Croatia knocked out Italy 3-2 AET And Germany beat France, also 3-2 after being 3-0 up early.
And then 2 mad Quarter Finals – USA beating Sweden 1-0, DR Congo beating Portugal on Pens after finishing 1-1 in extra time.
- 24yo DM/DC
- Malaysian International
- 6ft 5in (6ft IRL)
- Arrives from Shamrock Rovers on a free
- IRL he’s with Waterford FC
Sam Bone, all 6ft 5in of him joins as our starting DM/DLP(S). Another Swiss Army Knife – 15 Jumping reach. Definitely going for tallest team in the league 🙂 £350/wk is a decent amount but I see him playing a lot.
The other two World Cup Quarters are done – Spain & Brazil beating Germany & Croatia, both 3-1.
But the dream final (USA v DR Congo) doesn’t occur – USA losing 2-0 to Brazil AET, DR Congo losing 1-0 to Spain.
And Spain finally win it all, beating Brazil 2-1 in the Final. Spanish league Football starts again on 1/1/23 – The final was on 18th December….
- 21yo DL
- Comes in for £4.6k from Kingstonian after starting his career at Southampton, where he is IRL
- Expected to be a 4* CA when he joins in January
A little bit of a punt, James joins as the starting DL-WB(L) – decent full-backs are really rare. he’s been playing Tier 6 Football in England with Kingstonian, who have been promoted to the Vanarama North this season. Quick and determined – that’ll do, Pig.
Fuck me, have I missed something? £875/wk for Ethan Devine??? When did Athlone get that kind of money? Showing secure financially – has there been a takeover? They have a German chairman now so possibly.
- 30yo DR
- 5ft 9in
- Comes in on a free from Haverfordwest in Wales
- IRL he’s with Llanelli Town, after starting his career at Swansea.
- A bit of a punt 🙂
A real shot in the dark here – Daniel Alfei comes in on 6th January – he looks solid, thinking potentially 3* CA, plus looks like a natural wingback. There are no decent fullbacks that I can get at – Conor Kane is unhappy at Drogheda but they want £50k for him… At the very least Daniel will replace Kane Lewis (2.5* CA and gets sent off a lot)
We have picked up an Assistant manager for the U19’s, and replaced our Head Physio and U19’s Manager, all trying to improve the staff team.
A fair few lads released.
And so 2023 arrives, and we also have a few arrivals:
Biggest Overachievers 🙂
Longford first up, at home 🙂
£44k just come in for TV Rights.
Non-Irish newbies arrive – not as good as I’d hoped for TBH.
NEW SIGNING (JULY 2023)
One for the future, we will be welcoming Gareth Agnew at the end of the Northern Irish season to Cobh. Already 2.5* CA, Soon to be 18 Gareth has a ton of potential and will hopefully become a first-team midfielder in the next couple of seasons.
LOAN SIGNING (4 Months)
- 21yo AMR/STC
- 6ft 1in
- Comes in from Larne until May
- Good cover for Right winger and Striker
- IRL he’s with Drogheda
Brandon Bermingham comes in for 4 months from Larne. Solid covering option.
And then, out of nowhere, a question from the press:
The Dundalk job is open…..
And I’m 5/1 on!!!!! Now, do I apply, or do I wait for the call? I’ll give it a few days 🙂
Defender Jack Funge has gone to Galway on a Free.
David Evans in again, this time for the full season 🙂
Stepping up the pressure 🙂 The Cobh board have released a statement hoping I stay 🙂
Bosun Lawal in for another season as well 🙂
OK, I’ve left it a week – applying for the Dundalk role…
And we are at our first pre-season friendly – College Corinthians at St. Colman’s Park.
Friendly – FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Lawal 6, 25, O’Neill 30) Col Corinthians 0 Att 120 (21 Away)
Pretty standard – all over early, then the players got bored. Higgins saved a Pen in there as well.
- 25yo AML
- 5ft 10in
- Comes in on a free after leaving Limerick FC
- IRL he’s at St. Pat’s after 4 seasons with UCD
Looking for Jason to be our starting left winger – Dara Costelloe has retrogressed quite a bit. Very solid and has a good record over the past few years.
Friendly – FT Cobh Ramblers 5 (Alfei pen 18, pen 56, Melody 38, Collins 45+2, Evans 89) Cobh Wanderers 0 Att 543 (106 Away)
Another standard result – Cobh R just too good for Cobh W.
Friendly – FT Cobh Ramblers 4 (Bone 14, 32, Collins 63, Doherty 90) U.C.C. 1 (Manley 8) Att 114 (21 Away)
U.C.C. took a shock lead but 2 headed goals from Sam Bone set that straight. Business-like whilst heavily rotating.
And then the big day arrives, the Dundalk interview. But first a transfer offer for Dara Costelloe…
Initial £39k offer, got them up to £75k!!!. So lets have a look at Athlone’s landmark screen…
4 Chairmen in a year, with a German Tycoon taking over, and turning them Professional!!! Expecting to see Athlone in the top flight soon!
And so to the Interview. All the normal stuff, they want to be Competitive in the Conference League (So Qualifying for the Europa or Champions League would trump that) and continue winning the Premier Division – nothing else matters!
Just £2.8M for transfers 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
And £56k/wk for wages 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Munster Senior Cup QF drawn – Limerick being one of the tougher draws (With Cork)
Friendly – FT Wexford 1 (O’Hanlon 60) Cobh Ramblers 3 (Costelloe 2, Evans 48, Hurley 50) Att 76 (11 Away)
More of the same. Might be be Costelloe’s (And my) last game with Cobh????
Dara Costelloe to Athlone – £86k with additions – nice to cash in like that.
And here we go:
The Dundalk board added the Champions League & Europa League bits – apart from that all good. £1.7k/Wk is a bit of a step up. I’ve got them up to £1.8k wk.
And there we have it!!! I’m now manager of by far the best team in Ireland. Next post we will get to know the players and get through what is left of the pre-season – knowing we have lots of commitments in lots of competitions. This should be really interesting!
I’d like to think I’ll be leaving Cobh in a good spot – a bit of money in the bank (About £100k after the 40% severance for my Cobh contract is paid by Dundalk), and players capable of keeping them up. If they nose dive I will not be happy. See you soon for the start of the Dundalk adventure 🙂