"It's a little bit harder for us because we're part time" - Cobh boss Stuart Ashton on ambitions as First Division restart looms

Thu, Jul 30 2020

Stuart Ashton Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)

Dylan O'Connell reports from a Google meets virtual press conference.

Cobh Ramblers Head Coach Stuart Ashton says the goal remains the same for the promotion chasing club despite the ‘cramped’ calendar for the rest of the season.

Ramblers travel to the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening to take on Bray Wanderers in their first game back after the Covid-19 shutdown.

The club are currently sixth in the First Division and are separated from the Seagulls in fifth by goal difference.  

“We are thankful to be back playing for everyone’s sake,” Ashton said, “There is such a goodwill factor around the place. It is good for everyone in the country that sport is back playing competitively.

“The aim is the same from the beginning of the season. We want to be fighting for a promotion spot. I just think that because season is cramped into into a few weeks, it is going to be about managing the squad now. Hopefully we don’t get any injuries because that will have a big impact on us. For us it is about the management of the group and keeping them all fit.

“It is a little bit harder for us because we are part time. We train on the Tuesday on Thursday nights after playing on Fridays or Saturdays. The commitment is still the same. When games come up it will be about who is available and who will be fit and ready.”

Before the lockdown the Ramblers had been finding form in the First Division. In the days leading up to the shutdown they beat Athlone Town 3-2 at St. Coleman’s Park and UCC on penalties in the EA Sports Cup.

“From everyone’s point of view we are starting off after a preseason again. We have points on the board but so does every other club,” Ashton said.

“Bray are one of the better teams in the division and they are always challenging. We expect a tough game on Friday night. They have a squad with experience and young lads.

"From that point of view we know what to expect from them. We have done our homework. We are expecting a competitive game and hopefully we can come out on top.”