Cobh Ramblers announce plans to field women's team again after lengthy absence

The Leeside outfit are hoping to play Women’s National League football in 2022.

Cobh Ramblers FC have reached an agreement with Springfield Ramblers which will see the club return to women’s football in 2021.
Cobh Ramblers FC have reached an agreement with Springfield Ramblers which will see the club return to women’s football in 2021.

COBH RAMBLERS FC has announced that the club will field a senior women’s team once again, with plans in place to compete in the Women’s National League [WNL] in 2022.

An agreement has been reached with Springfield Ramblers in which their adult teams will fall under the Cobh Ramblers umbrella, and compete as Cobh Ramblers.

The Leeside outfit confirmed the news in an interesting statement this evening, having been absent from the women’s football scene for the past decade.

Cobh Ramblers see this venture — which has been in the works for the past 18 months with a number of Springfield Ramblers women’s senior and U20 games taking place at St Colman’s Park — as a vital step in the club’s development ahead of their centenary year of 2022.

In 2021, the club will enter the Cork Women’s and Schoolgirls Soccer League [CWSSL] team as Cobh Ramblers at both senior and U20 level (these will be the Springfield Ramblers teams from 2020).

In 2022, the aim is to enter a senior team into the WNL — where they’ll join fellow Rebel outfit Cork City — and to also continue with the CWSSL sides. In 2023, the plan is to see teams compete in the U17 and U19 WNL.

“For us, to have women’s teams back at the club is a huge step for us,” club chairman Bill O’Leary said. “We are an inclusive club with a focus on increasing diversity at all levels, and a ladies’ national league team is a key initiative along that pathway. 

“Ladies’ football is growing at an enormous pace in Ireland. It is opening up our club to a hugely influential demographic. We are delighted to give the best female talent in the region the chance to play nationally, just as we do with our male teams.

“We will provide an option for women in Cork to play at a level that suits their ability. We are an ambitious, proud, community club. Our ladies’ teams will engage further positive momentum and contribute to our upward trajectory as a club.”

Springfield Ramblers Women’s Coach and CWSSL Fixtures Secretary, Steve Mulcahy, echoed O’Leary’s words on the announcement and hailed it as “a great step forward for football in Cobh and Cork as a whole,” while Springfield Ramblers womens’ senior captain Mary McDonnell also welcomed the move.

Screenshot 2021-01-13 at 21.24.19 Springfield Ramblers womens’ senior captain Mary McDonnell, pictured at St Colman’s Park. Source: Cobh Ramblers FC.

“As a player I see this as a fantastic step forward for the club and the town,” she said.

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“For a long time elite players in the area have had to travel to other clubs, sometimes even other counties, to play their football. This is huge for the young girls at Springfield Ramblers and really shows the ethos of Cobh Ramblers as a community club.

“I’m involved in coaching these girls myself and now these players will have a pathway all the way to senior level, whatever their ability. This partnership is the fruition of all the hard work that has gone into growing the women’s game in Cobh over the past few years.

“If you think of the 20×20 campaign message, ‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it,’ Cobh Ramblers are showing their wholehearted backing of this message and showing the younger generation of female players that they do care.

“It’s also a great development for Cork as a whole. For a long time a second national league team has been needed in the county. There will now be local derbies with Cork City at male and female levels, who doesn’t love that!”

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Emma Duffy

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