Cork ladies footballers aim to strengthen the panel across league campaign

Cork ladies footballers aim to strengthen the panel across league campaign
Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald addresses his players at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

CORK ladies’ football manager, Ephie Fitzgerald, was happy to take the points against Westmeath and get the defence of their National Football League off to a winning start, but also said they have areas of their game to work on.

“It was a tough game. Early on, it looked like we might run away with it, but, fair play to them, they stuck in there,” Fitzgerald said after the victory in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“They set up defensively and are a big, strong, physical side. We did a lot of sloppy things. We weren’t patient enough and took the ball into tackles that we wouldn’t normally do.

“But, overall, very happy with the result and the display from the players. We’re only back a few weeks and still have plenty of work to do. We had one challenge match, so, hopefully, that game will bring us on a good bit now,” Fitzgerald said.

“It was fantastic to play out there; the pitch was in magnificent condition and we can have no complaints there, but we are delighted to take the points.

“What we are trying to achieve, in the league, is to blood a few players. We had Caoimhe O’Callaghan start for the first time and I thought she did very well, before her sin-binning,” Fitzgerald said.

Caoimhe O'Callaghan of Cork in action against Leanne Slevin of Westmeath. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Caoimhe O'Callaghan of Cork in action against Leanne Slevin of Westmeath. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

“But we are trying to unearth new talent to make our panel stronger going forward. We will need that, particularly in championship, later on in the year. If you look at Dublin and Galway, they had very strong benches last year.

“Particularly Dublin, in the semi-final, they were able to spring girls from the bench that impacted.

“We are looking to achieve a stronger panel, so, from that point-of-view, we will be looking to the league to blood new girls.

“It’s also nice to have the likes of Roisin Phelan back, along with the likes of Brid O’Sullivan and Ciara McCarthy, so they will help to make the panel stronger,” Fitzgerald said.

“For now, we are happy to take the points and move on to a tough game against Tipperary, next weekend,” he said.

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