IT’S a busy weekend for ladies soccer and the Cork Senior Inter-league side will be hoping to advance to the semi-final of the Angela Heartz Tournament if they can secure a win over Munster rivals Limerick on Sunday in the Markets Field.
After a victory over Clare in the first round, Cork will be confident. However, manager Greg Constant knows a tough test against Limerick awaits.
“Both us and Limerick had comfortable wins but I can’t imagine there will be much between us in this Sunday’s game,” he said. “Limerick will be a strong physical side who play some lovely football and they too will be confident having secured a recent win over their neighbours Clare.”
Constant and his backroom staff certainly won’t be complacent heading into Sunday’s tie as they know it will be a totally different game against Limerick and with a bigger prize at stake.
A place in the semi-final of this All-Ireland tournament would be massive and the aim would be to get to the final and bring him the cup like the Cork girls did in 2018.
“Firstly, we are delighted to have the Angela Heartz Tournament back after a two-year absence due to Covid.
“It is a fantastic tournament and really promotes ladies soccer throughout Ireland. It is an honour for me on a personal level to manage such a fantastic team of girls who represent nine different clubs across Cork.
“I, along with my backroom staff of Seamus Ring and Karl Murphy, who came from Blarney United, while Louis Nolan joined from Greenwood, are all looking forward to the massive challenge against Limerick.
Our priority at the moment is Sunday’s game because it is a winner-takes-all scenario of progressing to the semi-final.
“Limerick had a big win over Clare and beat them by two goals more than we did so it makes it a must-win game for us, which means there will be no complacency from the girls, whereas a draw would do Limerick to qualify for the semi-final.
“I’m very confident that the girls will apply themselves in the right manner on the field Sunday. It would be amazing to go all the way and bring the cup back to Leeside again after the girls win in 2018.
“We have three current players who were part of that winning squad — Barbara O’Connell, who captained the side; Carissa Sheehan, and Charley Moore.
“All three know what it means to win the national title but they also know the hard work it takes. So we hope the entire squad can give it everything on Sunday and put us one step closer to achieving this.
“We have a great blend of youth and experience in the squad that we selected from the trials that were held over a six-week period. The squad will be led by our captain, Tiffany Taylor, who has played at a high level. She is a great leader of the group.”
The 40-year-old from Tower and his backroom staff have been a breath of fresh air since taking over the reins with the squad this season. The four lads are new to the set up and brought freshness and neutrality, which was welcomed by all clubs involved in this representative side.
“Seamus, Karl, and I have coached together for a number of years now. We have had a great few years winning a national cup at U17 level in 2019. We also won the local cup that year.
“Two years on we won the U19 premier with the same squad. I had previously managed Blarney United seniors and now myself and Seamus are currently coaching Ballinhassig AFC men’s senior team.
“Louis is currently head coach of Greenwood FC’s first team. All four of us are new to women’s soccer and absolutely loving it. We are very impressed by the high standards of women’s soccer in Cork. We are hoping to stick around for a long time.
“Hopefully we can help the side on Sunday to advance to the semi-final of this national tournament.”