IT HAS been a turbulent few weeks in the midst of a difficult season for the Cork City Women.
On the pitch, City are currently the only team in the Women’s National League that has yet to record a victory this season.
After nine games without a win, and just three points on the board — all earned away from Turner’s Cross — the Leesiders find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. Off the pitch, the club has seen manager Rónán Collins leave the side for ‘personal reasons’ following their disheartening defeat against Treaty United.
His assistant Paul Farrell initially took the role on an interim basis but it has since been confirmed he will remain in charge for the rest of the 2021 season.
“It was disappointing from a club point of view to hear that Rónán was leaving,” admits Chris O’Mahony, who is currently on the club’s women’s committee having previously served as their chairman.
“Most people will never know the amount of work he did for the club over the past few years, particularly since taking over the women’s team.
“He had a very hands-on approach and outside of training and matches he would have spent many hours speaking to players, scouting players, ringing international managers to help the Cork City players who were in and around that setup, organising budgets, sorting kits, and many other things.
“He played a huge part in building very strong structures on the women’s side of the club and providing a pathway for young players to come through into the first-team squad, which is something the club will benefit from for a long time to come.
“I’m delighted for Paul, he definitely deserves this opportunity. Obviously, he has been involved in the club for a few years so he knows the setup and the players and that continuity is important.
“He’s very driven as a coach and I think he will continue to demand high standards from everyone involved in the women’s teams so that we can move up the table.”
So with the managerial situation resolved, for now, the immediate target is to end their horrible run of results.
City have been impacted by a number of injuries and strange refereeing decisions this campaign which have cost them at crucial times.
But O’Mahony knows the players have failed to perform in a number of games, which he believes isn’t good enough.
“We were fourth at the end of last season and we are bottom now but you don’t become a bad team over a few games.”
“We have lost some experienced players but to be fair to the players, most of whom are effectively in their first WNL season as starters, I think they have done really well, and if they continue like that they will be mainstays in the team.
“I do think everyone could do more on the pitch, you could probably say that about any team but when a team goes from fourth to ninth in a short time…. what you want is for everyone to up their game and experienced players to lead by example.
The players are playing for Cork City Football Club at Turner’s Cross, that should count for something.
"That should give every player a lift going onto the pitch and they should be wanting to replicate many of the great days the club has had in that stadium.
“This club has a massive support base and the number one thing Cork City fans expect is commitment on the pitch because they know that will lead to success.
“The effort and commitment on the pitch from everyone needs to improve. Some can improve more than others but as I’ve said you don’t turn into a bad team overnight.
“Everyone needs to refocus and redouble their efforts and start picking up points. That starts with improving performance. Be proud to play and represent Cork City.
“We have had at least four, often five of the starting line up from the cup final either injured or departed the club for our games so far this season.
“But now we need to look forward and get off the bottom of the table.
“We have good players and good coaches. If they believe in themselves and leave it all on the pitch we will start to move up the table. There are plenty of points up for grabs. We are only a third of the way through the season.”