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Thursday 14 December 2017

Cabo will walk before they run

Cabinteely manager Eddie Gormley is hoping the club's support grows in tandem with their long-term League of Ireland project Photo: Sportsfile
Cabinteely manager Eddie Gormley is hoping the club's support grows in tandem with their long-term League of Ireland project Photo: Sportsfile

If clubs would win points on the back of their off-field innovations and marketing strategies, Cabinteely FC would certainly not have finished bottom of the table in their debut season of League of Ireland football last year,

The Dublin club pulled off a number of clever stunts on social media to earn them international coverage, putting many of their rivals to shame.

For manager Eddie Gormley, the coverage and the plaudits are all well and good but the former St Patrick's Athletic hero is keen for the club to be a success on the field as well, with big crowds watching a successful team, though he's aware that Cabo are still young in LOI terms with just one season behind them.

"We need more bums on seats - when we do get seats," jokes Gormley ahead of the new season which kicks off for Cabo at home to Athlone Town on Friday night.

"The media side of things and the way they generated PR, got the club into the headlines, was phenomenal. But the football side of it has to be run separately, you have to allow the team and the players time to develop. We are growing as a club but why sprint before you can run? Sometimes too much success too quickly can break you.

"How many times have you seen a team get some success, then start throwing money at it? We won't be throwing money at this - because we don't have any money. Getting people through the turnstiles will generate interest, but to get people in the door you need a winning team."

Gormley played for a great St Pats side which won league titles in front of big crowds back in the 1990s, and for him, Cabo need to offer something to grab the attention of the hundreds of thousands of Dubliners who shy away from League of Ireland football.

Hopping

"In my time at St Pats, that stadium was always hopping. Friday nights in Inchicore were great, I don't know what happened after that and I don't know how they get the crowds back. We had a successful team at the time and I think that helped," says Gormley, who bats away any suggestion that promotion to the top flight - albeit from a league where one club (Limerick FC) are odds-on to land the title - would be too much too soon for a young club.

"I am am ambitious person, I hate losing and I want to do well. Would it be too big a step for us to get promoted? Possibly so, you don't know the financial implications and demands. This club is a long-term project," says Gormley.

Cabo have strong links between their LOI side and the club's other teams, essential for support to grow.

"It's difficult to get support out but the plus for us is our junior side, we have over a thousand members, it's about generating some interaction between the junior and senior sides of the club, getting the kids in to see our games, becuase these kids are the adult supporters of the future," the Cabo boss explains.

"We have a few of those kids hooked in already, we try and integrate the senior players into the club as a whole, meeting the kids and explaining to them what it's all about. If that hooks the kids in, we can build on iit.

"We have a nice atmosphere at our games, it's a real family vibe to it, the expectation levels are not the same as at other clubs, but of course we want to develop and get better, and it's up to the clubs to make the games more family-friendly. Clubs have a responsibility to do that, but how you improve the facilities I don't know, maybe a set amount of money should be put into each club for facilities each year."

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