Cork City women's team are one win away from returning to FAI Cup final

Cork City women's team are one win away from returning to FAI Cup final

Cork City's Shaunagh McCarthy is pursued by Shelbourne's Rebecca Cooke in the league last weekend. Picture: Moya Nolan

CORK City women’s manager Rónán Collins had been so focused on ensuring his side produces a good performance in Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final against Treaty United that one small detail had escaped his attention.

Last Thursday the fifth of November marked the third anniversary of City’s famous 1-0 win against UCD Waves at the Aviva Stadium which secured their first-ever major piece of silverware.

“I didn’t realise that which probably shows where I’m at with it, I didn’t think about that at all,” laughs Collins.

Cork City's Natalie O’Brien and Dearbhaile Beirne of UCD in the 2017 FAI Cup final. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Cork City's Natalie O’Brien and Dearbhaile Beirne of UCD in the 2017 FAI Cup final. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Rather than reminiscing about that memorable triumph, the Leesiders were out on the pitch for the third time this week with a fourth and final session following the next night.

But this is a common occurrence and not a reaction to the huge game to come in Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon (2pm) with the club eager to keep things as normal as possible.

“You set the environment you want and we have always just concentrated on producing a performance in our next game so it will be the same again,” insists Collins.

“The fact that we always do that makes it more likely that happens when these types of games come up.

“The mood has always been very good, The girls have been terrific all year and it’s a really good environment to train in and coach in.

“It’s good from the point of view that it’s challenging, it doesn’t mean that everything is nice and wonderful every day, we can be hard on each other.

“It’s somewhere everyone wants to be but this week will be the same as last week and every other week before that, we are quite even-keeled in that way which is a good way to be.

“But obviously, it’s a cup semi-final. It’s the club’s second FAI Cup semi-final ever but it’s just another week for us.

“We feel we prepare very well for every game, the girls train very hard every week so we need to just keep doing those things.” 

The two Munster rivals come into the game in contrasting form with Treaty enjoying a hard fight 5-4 win away to Bohemians last weekend and although the Rebels were beaten 4-0 in the capital by Shelbourne, they did defeat United 5-2 in Limerick earlier in the campaign.

“We always look at the performances because if you keep producing good performances the results will follow,” added the manager.

“There was a lot of really positive stuff to take from the Shels game but we just didn’t get the rub of the green on certain things and that had a big effect on the final score. It showed us the areas we need to work on this week moving forward.

“We look at setting those performance targets for every game no matter what the game is, no matter who we are facing.

“That’s what we are looking at going into this weekend. Those few things we can touch up on, can we make those key changes? At those key moments when adversity happens, can we respond to it?

“Treaty have always caused us problems. Early on in the season that was probably our best performance this season.

“We moved the ball around really well and if we could do that again it would be wonderful but they don’t let teams do that very often.

“They are physical, they have a lot of attacking threat and they can hold the ball up. They have some good footballers in their team and it’s a Munster derby, you can always feel that in those games so it’s important that we try to control those areas where we can.” 

City’s chances of moving the ball around well on a good surface have been boosted by their male counterparts' decision to train elsewhere for the past couple of weeks.

It is believed the decision was made by the men’s management to give the women’s team the best chance of progressing to the final, which Collins thinks would give the entire club a much-needed lift.

“Even all the coaches and players from the men’s side of the club this year, it has been really close between both of us, helping each other with different things,” he stated.

“Reaching a final would be a really positive moment for the club itself because it is one club and we are all in it together. It would be a huge boost.

“It’s not easy for any of us - the men getting relegated - but you can rebuild. That’s been the women’s club in years gone by, things go through cycles so hopefully, we can bring a bit of positivity to the club.”

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