A NEW club, a new city and a new challenge.
Cork City FC women’s recent signing Becky Cassin from Wicklow is ready to create new memories here on Leeside as she looks forward to the season ahead having spent the past six years at Wexford.
Cassin, 23 has enjoyed a lot of success over the years winning four National Leagues, three FAI Cups and two Shields with Wexford with a highlight having played in the Champions league.
“I enjoyed every minute of the six years I spent in Wexford,” said Cassin.
"I learnt so much about myself as a player and a person and met people that I’ll always consider my family and best friends.
"We won four National Leagues, three FAI Cups and two Shields. I never would have thought we’d be that successful when I first signed but the manager we had at the time Will Doyle was great and brought out the best in his players.”
So why would Cassin leave such a successful team?
"Jess Lawton (Cork City Coach and team Psychologist) got in touch with me in November when the season had ended and we met up for a chat.
"She told me what the club wanted to achieve going forward and that Ronan and Paul were looking to bring in me so I had a bit of a think about it and knew that it was the right thing to do.
"I wanted to enjoy my football again and challenge myself and I’d worked with the club in 2018 when I did my placement with the Men’s team so I had an idea of what playing for the club might be like and how much the club means to the people of Cork.
"Since I’ve started training with the girls and played two matches I’ve felt so welcomed and at home and really motivated to do well for the club.”
Cassin came from a sporting family background where both her parents excelled in their chosen sports.
Her father played for St Joseph’s Boys while her mum was a keen basketballer so it was only natural Becky would be sporty and her love for soccer began at the age of nine.
“I started playing when I was nine with my cousin and friends but there wasn’t (and still isn’t) a girls team in my hometown so I was 12 when I joined my first team Newtown Juniors FC.
"I played and captained/vice captained the girl’s team from U14 – U18 and the boys U13 team.
"We won the Leinster Cup in 2011 and reached plenty of finals but that was the extent of our success.
"I played for Rush Athletic in Dublin for two summers to fill the off-seasons before joining Wexford Youths in 2014 when I was 17.”
A former Minor county Wicklow gaelic footballer, Cassin’s experience will be key for Ronan Collins’ Cork City side, and nearing the beginning of the season, she has stated that her main focus is to get back to the Aviva.
“I want to get back to the FAI Cup final in November. The girls here know what it feels like to win there and so do I so that’s definitely my main aim.
"We want to challenge for every other piece of silver, prove ourselves more in the league and on a personal note I can’t wait to enjoy my football again.
"Playing and winning in the Aviva is incredible and is always my main goal going into every new season.”
Apart from playing in the Aviva, Cassin had the pleasure of playing in the Champions league, and experience that will live with her forever.
“I’ve played in four Champions League qualifying campaigns and it is just as surreal as being part of a final in the Aviva.
"We played in Poland, Wexford (where 800 people came out to watch the games), Belfast and Lithuania. Everything is different to a regular match day/preparation experience; you’re living in a hotel for 10 days, the pitches are better, the weather is usually better, the referring style is different and the opposition usually play a very different style of football than you’re used to so you have to adapt.
"I scored in our campaign in Poland against Cardiff and it’s probably one of my favourite achievements in football.
“I would love to experience more great memories here in Cork.
"This team work extremely hard and all the girls are focused on being as successful as possible.
"We have a really young, talented team and it’s exciting to see what we can achieve.
"Cork has always been a massive club in the National League and I want to help us get back to where we belong and challenging for silverware.
“I moved to Cork in January with my girlfriend and life has been great.
"I feel like I’ve already developed a lot as a player in the four weeks I’ve been with the club.
"I’m learning how to play with a whole new squad and under a new system but I’m eager to get the league started and to keep learning with this group.
“The standard is set really high by the players and the management and I’ve enjoyed every training session and match so far.
"This team has some of the best young players in the country representing Ireland at all ages so naturally everyone holds themselves to a high standard which is really important and will no doubt help us improve week in week out.”