31 December, 2010

Review of the 2010 Season / Preview of 2011: Cork City F.C. / Cobh Ramblers F.C.:

2010 was a year of new beginnings for professional soccer in Cork City,
as Cork City Football Club went to the wall one week before the season started.
However, new manager Tommy Dunne (pictured right) and his backroom staff, including assistant Greg O'Halloran, performed trojan work in getting a team/squad to-gether within seven days to start the new season in the Airtricity League First Division.
In what was a reasonable start, City finished fifth, which was probably as good as could be excpected in the very trying circumstances.
City will look to push for promotion in 2011 and have already started looking to next year with a quality signing in 'Cockney Rebel' Danny Murphy and there are a number of other signings in the pipeline - including Liam Kearney and possibly even the return of former Ireland international: Colin Healy. Exciting times are ahead for Cork City soccer, even if its with a more limited budget, though it's certainly positive that the club at least has a vision for the future and the fact that the club is now owned by the fans means the good of the club will now (unlike in the past), always be the Number One consideration.


This time last year; 2010 was looked on as being a transitional year for a young Cobh Ramblers side, who had a woeful 2009, garnering just six points (from 16 league games), and finishing well adrift at the foot of the Newstalk A-Championship League Table. Of course, the vast majority of the promoted 2007 Division One winning squad (and indeed the 2008 relegated Premier League squad) has well and truly moved on, with stalwarts like striker Kieran O'Reilly (below) moving into the management ranks at the club in 2010. However, the young side (with average squad age of just 19 years), exceeded expectations in 2010, reaching the A-Championship play-offs and eventually falling to Finn Harps in the semi-finals. While the budget at the club is still very limitted (since the end of 2008, none of the players at the club get paid and the club has no physio), 2011 looks like being a season spent on the front foot for the sea-side club, with promotion definitely a realistic possibility for a squad which now has a couple of seasons of League of Ireland/A-Championship experience and in players like goalkeeper Kevin McCarthy, experienced defender Michael 'Zico' Hasting, midfielder Emmet O'Hanlon and young striker Alan O'Flynn - they have a spine of players of real Airtricty League Premier Division quality.

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