Corrigan hoping Greenogue can become a fortress for Peamount
By Daire Walsh
PEAMOUNT United centre-half Louise Corrigan is hoping to turn PRL Park into a fortress when the Women’s National League finally gets underway on Saturday.
James O’Callaghan’s charges will kick-start their defence of the WNL with a home encounter against Treaty United of Limerick. The champions recorded nine wins from 10 in Greenogue during a successful 2019 league campaign and Corrigan acknowledges it will play a significant factor over the course of the season.
“It’s always great playing games at home,” said Corrigan. “You always get the supporters up and there’s always a buzzy atmosphere. You want to be winning at home as well. I think it does play a little mental factor as well, when you’re playing at home. You do push yourself that bit more,” Corrigan explains.
“Not saying you don’t push yourself when you’re playing away, but it’s the whole supporter vibe. Just knowing it’s your home ground, you want to be making sure you have your fortress up and you’re winning games. It will be interesting now.”
Given the Women’s National League was initially set to get up and running on March 15, Corrigan admits it was difficult for the Peamount squad to remain motivated during the lockdown. Now that their competitive opening to 2020 is just around the corner, it has added a new lease of life to the Newcastle club.
“Motivation levels weren’t as high as they would be now that we’re back in the team environment. We would have had the likes of individual work outs and online group sessions with our captain [Aine O’Gorman], who is a fitness instructor. That was handy. She kept us going on training days, to try and keep the routine.
“That wasn’t too much of a big transition when we got back to the pitch in June. Then there were programmes to follow as well for specific player drills. Being back now, I suppose motivation levels are a lot greater. We’re just delighted to be able to be around each other as well.
“It’s going to be completely different, it’s going to be a new challenge this season. We’ll be playing less games with the two phases being about. We won’t play each other as much and every game is going to count and every point is going to matter on that board. It’ll be fun.”
In addition to being the Women’s National League holders – and, therefore, the team to beat – 2020 will also see Peamount competing in the Champions League for the first time since 2011/2012. They reached the last-32 of the competition in that season, hosting Paris Saint-Germain in a glamour tie at Tallaght Stadium.
Corrigan previously featured in the elite level of European women’s soccer in the colours of St Francis, with whom she won back-to-back league and cup doubles in 2008 and 2009. They will be forced to wait until September to discover their opponents in the Champions League qualifiers, but Corrigan and Peamount will be ready to rise to the occasion.
“It’s really exciting because it was a good while back since we were in the Champions League.” she told The Echo. “Peamount were one of the first teams to qualify for the knockout stages in European competition. That was huge back then.
“We kind of have that pressure on us a little bit to make sure we perform and push ourselves to that limit again. Hopefully get through the qualifiers stage again and onto the second round. We’re going to work hard to try and get to that stage anyway. Take everything as it comes. Don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves either,” she stressed.