WHILE the visit of Galway on Saturday afternoon will present Cork City with the opportunity to get their first victory of the Women’s National League season, and also their first win since returning to Turner’s Cross, it also presents a huge chance for one of it’s coaching staff.
Last week’s unexpected announcement that Rónán Collins was stepping down from his role as manager has provided his assistant Paul Farrell with the chance to take sole charge of the senior side for this game, at least.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” the new interim manager told the Echo.
“Being from Cork, being a Cork City fan… I have been going to the games since I was about 11 or 12 - I was a ball boy at the men’s games when I was a young fella - so the club means a lot to me.
“It’s a huge opportunity.
"Overall, we are the biggest women’s club in the league so it’s a privilege to be called the interim manager at the weekend.
“It’s a huge thing for me so I’m looking forward to it, it will be just another game though once the first whistle goes and it will be about getting the three points.
“It’s definitely not (something he was expecting) but it is what it is.
“From my point of view, Rónán brought me in and he has been super for the club but I have to step up now and take charge and do my best.
“There’s no point in dwelling on what has happened, we just need to kick on now.
"There’s been more phone calls, more things to do but it has been good so far.
“The club has been very good to me, they have been really supportive and so have the girls.
"It’s very positive around here at the moment so we need to just try and bring that into the game.”
City drew 3-3 with Galway on the opening day of the season and as we head into the first game of series two, they are the only side in the division yet to record a victory.
But while their hopes of finishing in the top four may be over, they come into this game just four points behind Bohemians in fifth.
The club’s board will have three weeks to decide on who will take permanent charge of the side after Saturday’s fixture due to the midseason break and while Farrell is hoping to stake his claim, his main concern is heading into the break on a positive note.
“The biggest thing for me is Galway at the weekend and that’s all I’m worrying about.
"Whatever comes after that, comes after that.
“We have a midseason break after the game so we can sit down with the club and chat about everything then but my main focus now is on Galway and trying to get a result against them.
“Galway always bring an air of physicality and they bring a certain style of play so we must try to disrupt that and match them physically.
“We did that up in Galway earlier in the season and got a draw, we played some really good football as well so it will be a tough task.
“It’s a huge opportunity (to get their first win of the season).
"We take every game on its merit and do the work during the week to get ready for it.
“The girls have been very good, they have been adapting to different styles of play.
"I’ll put my own stamp on it, my own style of play and I have ideas that I want to put into play.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to get our first win, our first win at Turner’s Cross as well.
“We need that to kick start us and get us back up the table.”
On the injury front, City are set to be without midfielder Katie McCarthy for at least the rest of the season after it was confirmed that she suffered a full Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture in the closing stages of their defeat to Treaty United last time out.
Defender Danielle Burke has been ruled out for a few weeks after she also recently underwent surgery for a health issue unrelated to the knock that forced her off early in the game against Treaty.
Full-back Lauren Walsh has returned to full fitness and is likely to replace Burke at centre-back while a late decision will be made on who will start in goal with Maria O’Sullivan impressing in training having returned from America for the summer.