Cian Browne: ‘We’ll definitely be looking to make the play-offs and if we can make that top two, why not?’
Cian Browne got a taste of the success last season with Cobh Ramblers in the First Division - and he is keen for more.
The Waterford native - who lined out for his native Blues at underage level - caught the eye for Ramblers under former boss Shane Keegan.
Ramblers won the Munster Senior Cup and also impressed in the play-offs, beating Wexford over two legs before losing narrowly against Waterford in the First Division play-off final.
And while he may have been earmarked for a move away from St Colman’s Park during the off-season, he opted to stay at the club.
By doing so, he is now working alongside his former Waterford underage coach Gary Hunt in East Cork.
Browne lined out for a Waterford under-19 team in 2019 that won the National League under Hunt.
“Pre-season has been great,” Browne told extratime.com.
“The lads and the new signings have been in together for a few weeks now and we have been building the team together so hopefully we can go one further this year.
“I have known Gary Hunt since I was a child.
“Myself, Dean Larkin and Jack Larkin and a few other lads have had him before and we won the under-19 National League title with him at Waterford against Galway United.
“I was lucky enough to be a part of that team after being with the under-17s. We are definitely capable of winning something at Cobh and hopefully it can be something big.”
Last season yielded a superb year for the Rams, with now former boss Keegan leading them to the brink of the Premier Division via the play-offs.
Crowds also surged with an average attendance of 1,151 - up 10% from the previous year's figure of 1,046.
“The whole town is looking forward to pushing on this year and watching us,” Browne explained.
“The crowds at our games are great. We had a decent following at our game against Fermoy last week. Hopefully we can give them something to cheer for.
“We’ve nearly won all of our pre-season games so far and I know that pre-season is only pre-season and we won’t look at the results too much but once the season starts, hopefully we can start with a win and just keep it going from there.”
And those attendances are likely to rise again with the return of Cobh’s county rivals Cork City to the second-tier.
“As a Cobh Ramblers player, the Cork City game is really exciting,” Browne adds.
“The lads from Cobh would be telling me what it is like and that is something that I would be looking forward to playing in.
“I haven’t played in it besides a Munster Senior Cup game but I would like to play in a proper league game against them to see what it is like.
“The league is a lot more competitive this year with Galway and Waterford being promoted who ran away with it last year.
“You have Cork, UCD, Bray, Wexford and ourselves so it is going to be very strong. We’ll definitely be looking to make the play-offs and if we can make that top two, why not?”