Conor McDonald has been very active throughout the summer transfer window as he added five new faces to his division-leading squad.
Scottish striker Jamie Docherty was the first through the door as he followed his pre-contract arrangement with Cobh Ramblers upon the expiry of his Edinburgh City.
The 21-year-old was integral to Edinburgh City’s season throughout 2020/21 as he finished as Scotland’s Ladbroke League Two third top scorer with 12 goals from 30 games. He previously hit the same record with his former team Arthurlie after returning to football from a long-term injury he sustained whilst playing for St. Johnstone’s academy.
He signs a €150 per week deal until December 2022 and will wear the number 19 shirt.
Cobh snapped up two of Bournemouth’s recently released Under-18s players thanks to Conor McDonald’s knowledge of the English academy system through his work with Burnley and Tranmere Rovers youth teams.
The first Bournemouth player to come through was 18-year-old English striker Khavarn Williams on a free transfer.
In the past two years in Bournemouth’s youth system, Williams scored 17 goals in 34 appearances for the Under-18 and Development Under-23 teams but failed to make his mark on the first-team which managed to qualify for next season's Europa League.
The striker joins on a €140 per week deal until December 2023 and he will wear the number 26 shirt for Cobh.
The arrival of 18-year-old centre-back Jack Seddon concluded Cobh Ramblers’ business with Bournemouth for the summer.
Like Khavarn Williams, Seddon failed to make an impact on Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth in the first-team but his performances with the club’s youth teams raised eyebrows and some considered him a valid option to keep at the club for longer. However, he was released at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
Seddon joins on a €45 per week contract until December 2023 and he will wear the number 35 shirt.
Perhaps Conor McDonald’s most outlandish signing was the capture of 16-year-old Slovakian central midfielder Jan Lukac on a free transfer.
The deal was McDonald’s first activity to bring in a player from outside either the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom. The club initially brought the player on trial after seeing reports of his call-up to the Slovakia Under-19 national team.
The youngster impressed during his two-week trial at the club and subsequently signed an initial youth contract with the club on €35 per week until he turns 17 in June 2022 where he will sign a part-time deal on €90 per week until December 2024.
The 16-year-old will wear the number 26 shirt for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Cobh’s final piece of business was to bring in another young goalkeeper. The result was Brighton & Hove Albion’s recently released goalkeeper Fynn Talley.
18-year-old Talley will look to challenge current number one Alan O’Sullivan between the sticks with now third-choice goalkeeper Adam Mylod being placed on the club’s transfer list with Shamrock Rovers and Scottish team Airdrieonians reportedly showing interest.
Talley will wear the number 40 shirt for the rest of the 2021 season and has signed a €130 per week contract until December 2023.
In terms of outgoings, Cobh have currently let six players leave the club permanently, beginning with unhappy youth striker Shane Coughlan who has signed a contract with Irish Premier League side Bohemian.
January arrival Andy Mooney has also departed the club on a free transfer to divisional rivals Galway United after not making a single appearance in any competition for The Rams since joining from Crumlin United.
Under-19s left-back Matthew McCarthy also joined St. Patrick’s Athletic on a free transfer.
The biggest move out of the club was undoubtedly the €20,000 transfer of Jake Giddings to Braintree Town in the English Vanarama National League South despite not making an appearance for Cobh since arriving in January.
Centre-backs Jordan Lyttle and James McSweeney were also shown the door by McDonald as Lyttle signed a deal with Northern Irish side Newry City. James McSweeney has not as yet been able to find a new club following six years at St. Colman’s Park, leaving the club with 112 appearances to his name.
There is likely to be another departure in the next few days as third-choice goalkeeper Adam Mylod will have to choose between Shamrock Rovers and Airdrieonians following the arrival of Brighton’s Fynn Talley.
James: Honestly, don't put it past me Shelbourne have picked up their game but they've done that at various points throughout the season before dipping so here's hoping...
Griffo: Or maybe Conor's personal stability is proving useful in Cobh's league success this time around
tedbro20: You would think so wouldn't you?!
Justice: Thank you very much, not as prestigious as the League Cup last season, but a cup regardless. Not that many games remaining in the league so we shall see.
Scott: There's been a few points where we've looked like we might dip but we've got straight back on the horse which is delightful.
Seb: A three-win difference between ourselves and 2nd but 3rd and 4th aren't too far behind either. We shall see as we approach the end of the 2021 season.
Wolf: I'll try and make the green a little darker in the next monthly update to see if that helps with visibility, thanks for letting me know!