Youngsters Leonard and McSweeney sign new deals as Cobh Ramblers plot title push

Mon, Dec 18 2017

Credit: Steve Alfred

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Cobh Ramblers' squad-building ahead of the 2018 First Division season continues apace with the re-signing of teenagers Cian Leonard and James McSweeney.

 

Their signatures bring to five the number of players signed up by Stephen Henderson following confirmation that Paul Hunt, Ben O'Riordan and Ian Mylod had inked new deals with the club.

 

Assistant manager Stuart Ashton told extratime.ie last week that 'we will be pushing to win the division' and the retention of Ireland under-18 international McSweeney and the promising Leonard will be key.

 

18-year-old striker Leonard joined the Rams from Cork City midway through the 2017 season having helped his hometown club to the 2015-16 under-19 National League title.

 

He was part of the City squad that competed in two rounds of the UEFA Youth League at the end of 2016, beating HJK Helsinki before being eliminated by AS Roma.

 

Following his arrival in Cobh in July, he scored twice in eight first team appearances while helping the under-19s (for whom he remains eligible) to a first-place finish in the Southern Division.

 

18-year-old defender McSweeney also made his first-team breakthrough last season, appearing 27 times for the Rams and scoring twice as he picked up the club's young player of the year gong.

 

McSweeney is another to arrive in Cobh via the Cork City youth set-up, signing for the under-17s in 2016 – he was named player of the year and scored the only goal as the Rams won the Shield.

 

He received international recognition in April when he was called up to Jim Crawford's under-18s for the Slovakia Cup, and he scored his first goal in a win over Turkey.