Women aim to get off to the best of starts
By DAIRE WALSH
After a long period of preparation, the start of the new Bus Eireann Women’s National League season is almost upon us, and Cork Women’s FC will be hoping to get their campaign off to a winning start when they make the trip to Celtic Park to face Castlebar Celtic tomorrow week (Sunday August 25th).
Speaking at the launch of the 2013/14 campaign at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon, talismanic Cork Women’s star Lynsey McKey is looking forward to their league opener, and hopes that they can make amends for a disappointing 2012/13 season, which saw them finishing in sixth with just four wins from 18 outings.
“It’s been a long enough break now with pre-season starting. I feel like we’re ready to get the first game under way against Castlebar next Sunday. We’re all looking forward to it,” McKey remarked.
“Last season didn’t go so well, especially after finishing third in our first season. I just found that we had a lot of players leaving and coming through. It’s a very young squad, but this year I feel like we can learn from last year. We’ve a young enough squad again this year, but all we can do is keep progressing.”
Having leaked 52 goals last season, Cork will be looking to add some defensive steel to their game for the upcoming, but with new coach Stephen O’Mahony joining team manager Maurice Farrell in the backroom team, McKey feels that they will be much harder to break down.
“We’ve got a new coach in, Stephen (O’Mahony), and he’s done really well. Very organised, very tactical, which I found we were lacking last year. With him and Maurice, I feel we’re getting a little bit more done in pre-season this year.”
“The main goal for us this year is defensively. We conceded way too many easy goals last year. So, a lot of pre-season we’ve been working on our shape defensively.”
With each passing year, the Women’s National League continues to expand, and the addition of Galway Women’s FC means that eight teams will compete for top honours in 2013/14. McKey believes that the addition of the Westerners can only be good for the league, even though they will be heading into the unknown when they travel to Eamon Deacy Park on September 15th.
“I think it’s brilliant for the league. The more, the merrier. Especially with Dublin, you’ve a few teams up there, so it’s nice to get the West part of it as well. Plus, it’s not as far travelling! We don’t know what to expect (from them). All that we know is that they’ve signed a good few players, but you won’t know until the day you face them what to expect.”
With one title each to their name, Dublin outfits Raheny United and Peamount United are expected to be the main challengers for silverware once again. McKey accepts that they are always likely to be the ones to watch out for, but also feels that the remaining teams are capable of causing surprises against them on a given day.