Whilst “Deadline Day” cross-channel may not have lived up to the hype this year, the League of Ireland has seen plenty of transfer action recently with First Division club Cobh Ramblers heavily involved.
The Cork club have announced a number of new additions to their 2015 squad as Martin Cambridge puts the finishing preparations to his side.
The biggest coup is undoubtedly the arrival of former Cork City, Stevenage and Port Vale midfielder Darren Murphy. Darren started off his youth career with the Rams in 2002 and quickly progressed to the senior setup, playing 75 games and scoring 9 goals, before signing for local rivals Cork City in 2007.
He spent two seasons at the Rebels until a move cross-channel beckoned to Stevenage Borough, then of the Conference Premier. He helped Stevenage climb to League One but left for Port Vale in 2012. Spells at Macclesfield Town and Woking followed, before a return to League of Ireland football in 2014 when he re-joined Cork City.
Injury hampered his spell under John Caulfield, with Darren making just four appearances and leaving in August of that year. He is now back at the club where it all began and his capture is a real signal of intent by the club.
Kevin Mulcahy has joined the club after leaving Cork City midway through the 2014 season. Kevin has also played for a number of Munster Senior League clubs including Douglas Hall and Avondale United and is a solid addition to squad.
A new face to Cobh fans will be left-sided player Audie Dunlea. Audie was previously on the same Tralee Dynamos League of Ireland side as ex-Rams Brian Fitzgerald and Robert Birdsall and has also played with Bandon AFC.
Two former players have also re-joined the club. Striker Jonathan Creamer and goalkeeper Stephen Hickey have signed from Munster Senior League side Leeds AFC. The pair played a key role in Ramblers’ u19s Enda McGuill Cup win of 2014 and remained with the senior set-up until July of that season when they joined the Northside outfit.
Cobh native David Curran has also re-signed for the club for the coming season. David played for the club at u19 level and was a member of the senior side in 2013 before joining Midleton midway through that season. A return to Cobh came in July 2014 and the attacking midfielder will be hoping to push on this season.
Four of Stephen Bermingham’s u19s have also signed for the senior side. Midfielders George Gill, Danny Barry and Chris McCarthy all appeared in the League of Ireland last season and will be hoping to feature even more this campaign. Defender David King has also made the step-up for the first time.
Finally, the club have announced a friendly with Premier Division Cork City on February 27th at St Colman’s Park, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Thomas Stafford, Pundit Arena.