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 Eabha O'Mahony, Cork City WFC, heads away from McKenna Davidson, Wexford Youths WFC. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Eabha O'Mahony, Cork City WFC, heads away from McKenna Davidson, Wexford Youths WFC. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Former Lakewood midfielder O'Mahony is a rising star in women's soccer 

EABHA O’MAHONY’S fantastic sporting year continued last week.

The former Lakewood star who now is a regular in the Cork City senior women’s team was not only part of the Irish U17 team that qualified for the next phase of the European Championships, but she also captained Colin Bell’s side.

For O’Mahony it’s been an incredible 12 months. This time last year she was playing U16 football for Lakewood, now she is a key player for Ronan Collins’ Cork City team, a home-based member of the Irish senior squad and obviously one of the key players for the U17 team.

Ireland's rising soccer star Eabha O'Mahony.
Ireland's rising soccer star Eabha O'Mahony.

She is the complete midfielder, great passer of the ball, and knows where the goal is but it’s her super engine and positional sense that sees her stand out from the crowd.

What made last week’s qualification so special was that she was also joined in the squad by Lauren Egboloniou and Zara Foley would also have been a vital member of this time but injury ruled her out at the last moment.

Ireland started their campaign in record-breaking style with a 14-0 win over Albania, a game in which Eabha stamped her class early and scored a great goal.

They finished second in the group which is enough for them to book a place in the Elite Round stages of the competition next year, having lost 1-0 to Serbia and drawn 1-1 with Wales much to the delight of their manager.

“We’re obviously happy to get qualification but disappointed with the loss to Serbia. We were the better team throughout the game and couldn’t get the goal we deserved,” said U17 coach Colin Bell.

“It was the most physical game we’ve had so far so the players will learn from the defeat. We just made the wrong decision at crucial times but we absolutely dominated and the players can be proud of the way they played.

“There are a lot of positives to take from the three games. The squad has made fantastic progress over the course of the week and showed a willingness to learn and improve which is important.

“We had a few injuries before we came out here and suffered injuries against Albania and Wales so the squad have dealt with that really well. It’s important that we continue to work with the squad to keep improving ahead of the next phase.”

The Elite Round draw will be on Friday, November 23 in Nyon with the fixtures set to take place in Spring 2019 and O’Mahony can’t wait to see who they draw.

Eimear Murphy, Passage, in pursuit of Eabha O'Mahony, Lakewood Athletic, three years ago. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Eimear Murphy, Passage, in pursuit of Eabha O'Mahony, Lakewood Athletic, three years ago. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“Yes, I’m really excited to see the draw,” said O’Mahony. “It was an amazing feeling to qualify for the Elites and now the hard work starts.

“For me personally I thought the campaign went great. We trained really well and we were very happy with the tournament overall.

“The 14-0 win to begin with definitely boosted our confidence and we really grew from there.

“After that game, we obviously knew we were well able of scoring so we then worked on our shape and how to improve on our defending. More importantly we didn’t allow ourselves to become complacent. We kept playing football which was great and I felt we grew as a team as the week went on.

“In all games I think we dominated most of the possession however at times we just weren’t clinical enough.

“In saying so it was unbelievable to qualify to the ext stages. That was the main goal at the start of the week. Winning 14-0 means nothing if you don’t qualify from the group.

“We are really looking forward to the next round and we will continue to train hard. We have a great squad who are continuing to grow in confidence all the time. And even though there is a young side, the girls are very mature, and have a great attitude to train and work hard.”

O’Mahony now follows a long list of Cork players both male and female who have had the honour of captaining their country in a major tournament and experience she will never forget.

“To captain my country was a dream come true. I now look forward to growing into the role. It was a great confidence boost for me and hopefully I can now build on that.”

Ashling Thompson with St Catherine's Ella Wigginton Barrett and Eabha O'Mahony after a Sciath na Scol camogie victory. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Ashling Thompson with St Catherine's Ella Wigginton Barrett and Eabha O'Mahony after a Sciath na Scol camogie victory. Picture: Jim Coughlan.