Post-Match Reaction: Lidl Ladies National Football League – Cork Manager Ephie Fitzgerald – The Evening Echo – February 29 2016

Ephie proud of his side’s efforts


Daire Walsh

AFTER they suffered a three-point defeat to Dublin in Division One of the Ladies NFL at Parnell Park yesterday, Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald acknowledged that the fitness and sharpness of their opponents eventually showed.

The RebelS are currently undergoing a detailed strength and conditioning programme, but despite coming out on the wrong side of the result, the Nemo Rangers clubman was proud of his team’s efforts in the Donnycarney venue.

“Yeah, we started very well to be fair. I suppose the one worry we had today was, we’re doing a lot of heavy training at the moment, and they may feel it in the legs,” Fitzgerald remarked afterwards.

“To be fair to Dublin, I suppose they looked that bit sharper and that bit fitter in the finish, but I must say I was very proud of my girls today. I thought they battled very strong, and we were unfortunate with a couple of the goals.”

Cork had impressed during the early exchanges, and with Kinsale’s Orla Finn leading by example, they had developed a significant advantage. However, because they currently don’t possess the required base in terms of training, Fitzgerald always felt that it would be difficult to sustain this momentum for the whole of the game.

“We were [clinical early on]. We had a couple of more goal chances as well to be honest about it. We decided to take points. We looked sharp, but if you haven’t got the base in terms of the training, I think it’s going to be very difficult to sustain that level of performance for the 60 minutes, and to be fair to Dublin, they put us under a lot of pressure. Especially with our own kick-outs, and they kicked 10 wides in the first-half. So, maybe at half-time the scoreline was probably a little bit false. But all in all, I’m very pleased with the overall application.”

Fitzgerald has identified the league as an opportunity to introduce some fresh legs into the Cork side, and with Boherbue’s Shauna Kelly making a significant impact at wing-back, he believes that it was a productive afternoon for his team.

“What we’re trying to do, and you saw it today with Shauna Kelly, we’re trying to introduce a few new girls, and give them a taste of what senior football is like. I was absolutely delighted with her display today, I thought she was absolutely fantastic.

“That’s what we’re doing, and over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing girls who maybe haven’t had a shot at it before. Just to see if they can make a go of it. From that point of view, it was a very valuable exercise,” Fitzgerald added.

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