I recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of the most talented youngsters making a breakthrough in the domestic game. Charlie Fleming, at just 18 years of age, has become a regular at right back for an ambitious Cobh Ramblers side, who are looking to secure a playoff place in the first division. The Ramblers are currently sitting in 4th place just a point behind UCD.
Having just become the first team to defeat high flying Limerick FC in an excellent 2–0 victory, Charlie was, understandably, in fine form.
We opened the conversation with just how, at such a young age, he has become an established member of Stephen Henderson’s side. A proud Charlie said, “Well I joined Cobh from my local team when I had just turned 16 and had two very enjoyable seasons playing under 19’s. I was lucky enough to get the call up to the senior side at 17. I owe the gaffer a lot for showing faith in me and giving me the opportunity. I just want to repay his with good performances.”
The talented youngster, who has been deployed in a right wing back and right midfield role, certainly grabbed his big opportunity with both hands, having already made an impressive 19 starts and three substitute appearances so far this season, even getting on the scoresheet against Athlone Town back in August.
Recalling such a special moment in any budding footballers career, he said with a beaming smile, “It was great to get my first senior goal, I don’t get too many so I wont be forgetting that anytime soon. We only won 2–1 I think, so it was great to get such an important goal too”.
Even though he is thoroughly enjoying his run in the side and putting in some stellar performances, he was quick to acknowledge the big step up in terms of quality and is very grateful to his experienced teammates helping make the process as smooth as possible. “It was definitely a big step up. There’s some excellent teams and very good players in the league. I’ve been lucky to have lots of experienced lads to help me out, for example, Shane O’Connor (ex-Ipswich), Kev Mulcahy (ex-Aston Villa) and Paul Hunt who has lots of experience in Premier football helped me out a lot.”
Having hit the ground running in senior football and making a name for himself in the game, Charlie has already gained some attention from across the water, but for one so young he showed a maturity beyond his years in dealing with such attention. “I was surprised when I heard about it. I had been playing well and was told that two English teams had been in touch with the club but I put it to the back of my head. I am just concentrating on Cobh and getting the great club back where it belongs, into the Premier division.”
Its almost certain its not just teams from England who have been impressed with this emerging talent but Charlie is definitely one to watch, not just for the future but the present also. And with such a level head and determination to succeed I’m sure he will, as he put it, “make his dreams come true.”