CORK City women’s manager Paul Farrell is to hold crunch talks with the club’s Board of Management on Wednesday night to discuss a number of behind-the-scenes issues that are impacting his side.
City have endured a difficult start to the 2022 Women’s National League season as they were beaten 3-0 at Turner’s Cross by Galway before also suffering a surprising 2-1 loss at home to Sligo Rovers, who claimed their first-ever victory in women’s football, and most recently they were defeated 7-0 by Shelbourne last Saturday.
It is understood Farrell, and the women’s U17 and U19 manager Jess Lawton were due to meet the club regardless of the result against Shels as there has been a number of issues hindering the women’s side of the club for a while now.
One major issue has been the use of the club’s facilities. With the main pitch at Bishopstown being used by the men’s sides and the back pitch at the training ground not fit for purpose, City’s women have had to train elsewhere.
This is likely to be less of a problem going forward as the pitch in Bishopstown, which doesn’t have floodlights, will be available to use later in the evenings because of the hour going forward.
But it has already affected the women’s team as they have been forced to train in Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa with the only time slot available there being from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.
The alternative was to continue what they had done during pre-season which was to train on the St Finbarr’s astroturf, which wasn’t ideal because it is longer and narrower than a soccer surface, and was only free from 9pm to 10 pm.
This time was too late with many players and coaches living outside the city and even county often unable to attend.
It is believed at one crucial pre-season training session only a handful of seniors were able to make it while they also missed out
on signing the talented Jenna Slattery, who looked certain to join but instead opted for Galway out of convenience.
But the biggest issue that the club is facing is with regards to expenses with those coaches and players living further away travelling to join up with the squad for training and matches at their own cost.
City are behind most women’s clubs in terms of its facilities and funding and they are one of the only clubs without a full-time member of staff.
These issues will be brought up at Wednesday’s meeting with the board but if they fail to get resolved, things may only get worse as there is already a sense that they are being left behind.