THEY might be without a win to their name in the Women’s National League, but Cork City manager Rónán Collins is seeing enough to suggest his charges will be able to push up the table sooner rather than later.
The Leesiders suffered their fourth defeat in seven at Greenogue last Saturday, when Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Aine O’Gorman struck final-quarter goals to give champions Peamount United a 3-1 victory.
City had been on level terms after Eva Mangan cancelled out a Ryan-Doyle opener and Collins feels consistency will be the key to securing their first success of 2021.
“They get their first chance in that half and they bury it, but it’s a really good reaction. At 1-1, we have a huge chance to make it 2-1.
"It’s disappointing we probably let that pressure [from Peamount] build and we’ve to find ways to stop that, but definitely positive steps on the road,” Collins acknowledged.
“It’s how do we keep carrying that with us, prolong it for longer periods. Over the course of the season, there has been a lot of good elements to performances.
"There’s probably been some that warranted more than we got, but if you do that consistently over the course of a season, those results will come.”
Still just 16 years of age, Mangan is one of many promising young talents in the City squad.
The highest grade of domestic women’s soccer can be a steep learning curve for some, but Collins is happy with the progress being made.
“A lot of the time it’s learning those little nuances that you get with experience.
"Every game that goes by, you can see them taking that. The thing is, you can not take that forward and then you’re going to stay where you are as a player.
"We’re seeing the good signs that they are taking that forward and that’s what we’ve got to focus on.”
There was a familiar face on the Cork bench last Saturday, with 2020 captain Maria O’Sullivan making an unexpected return to the fold.
The Ballincollig goalkeeper has spent the past few months in the USA on a soccer scholarship, but has re-signed for City in the midst of a hectic league schedule.
“It’s great to have three ‘keepers, Leah [Hayes Coen] as well as Abby [McCarthy], of such quality that are going to push each other.
"It’s not only what she does with the goalkeepers, she’s really good around the squad. She has the mentality we look for in Cork City and she’s going to be a great boost for us,” Collins added.