CORK City women’s manager Rónán Collins has backed Éabha O’Mahony to make the most of the opportunity she has earned having been called up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad.
The Cork native was informed she had made the final 27-player Irish panel for Tuesday’s crucial Euro 2022 qualifier against Germany ahead of City’s recent match against Wexford Youths before she then joined up with the group in Dublin shortly after the 2-2 draw in Bishopstown.
“It’s a huge game against a really good team so it will be a great opportunity and a great experience for her,” insists Collins.
“She is very hungry to go in there, to impress and to show what she can do, she has worked really hard to get to this position.
“For a manager, she is very good to give feedback to and say ‘listen, this is the next step on the ladder, let’s go take it.’ There’s no doubt she will climb those steps.
“She has come on so much this year. The thing is, she is only 18. As an 18-year-old, what player is the final player they are going to be? Nobody.
“To be still learning new positions and then adding that experience to your game is only going to benefit you long term.”
The Ballincollig Community School student has already won an Irish senior cap having featured against the world champions USA in front of almost 40,000 fans at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, Los Angeles in August 2019.
She has impressed for City in centre-midfield this season but Ireland boss Vera Pauw sees her operating at left-back at international level and admitted recently that O’Mahony is similar to what she was like as a player.
“She played left-back for us for large parts of last season and she was very accomplished in there as well,” adds Collins.
“But in midfield, there is added responsibility. She’s around the play a bit more often so that experience is only going to add to her game.
“It’s always a good thing when the manager starts seeing themselves in you. There is so much good about Éabha and how she works, she is very dedicated to improving as a player, she is meticulous in her preparation and her development.
“The more managers get to know her, the more they will get to see that. The big thing you want from a player is that they want to continuously make themselves better and so far everything Éabha has done has shown that.”
Unfortunately, there was disappointing news for O’Mahony’s clubmate Saoirse Noonan who was omitted from the final Irish squad having been named in the original 31-player panel.
Noonan was also informed of the decision shortly before that game against Wexford and Collins believes the character she showed in her performance will ensure she receives another call-up in the future.
“That’s not an easy situation for Saoirse to be in and to come out with that response shows a lot,” he admits.
“It’s your response to adversity that defines you. That was quite an adverse moment so for her to go out and produce that performance was great.
“It was a very complete performance and although she may not have been on the scoresheet like in other games, she had a huge influence and that’s a really good sign.
“It’s tough not to make it but to show why you are in that standby squad, that means you are that step closer.
“There is more to come from Saoirse, her game has come on a lot and there is real maturity about her.
“If she can continue to do that I have no doubt she is going to push on and make it into more squads in the future.”