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The County Cork club will return to the League of Ireland after an absence of four years, bringing the number of First Division clubs to eight for the 2013 season

The Independent Club Licencing Committee has awarded Cobh Ramblers a licence to take part in the 2013 Airtricity League First Division.

The decision, announced by the FAI, will take the number of clubs in the First Division to eight for the 2013 season, following the collapse of Monaghan United last year. Following their relegation from the Premier Division in 2008, Cobh Ramblers failed to obtain a licence to compete in the First Division, and have been playing in the A Championship for the past four seasons.

The three-time Munster Senior Cup winners are most notable for being the club where Roy Keane started his playing career, and also was the first club of fellow Ireland internationals Stephen Ireland and Stephen O'Halloran.

Airtricity League Director Fran Gavin announced the club's inclusion in the 2013 Airtricity First Division ahead of the release of the fixtures for the season on Friday. "“Cobh Ramblers has a tradition of League football for many years," Gavin said. "This is a new beginning for the club and the people of Cobh. We encourage everyone locally to get behind the club and we look forward to their Airtricity League participation in the 2013 season."

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