Shane Ronayne: We're exactly where we want to be

Cork ladies football manager is happy with how the season is going so far for his team
Shane Ronayne: We're exactly where we want to be

Cork manager Shane Ronayne: Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK take on Mayo tomorrow in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship at Cusack Park, Ennis.

They will go into the game, throw-in 3pm, as favourites but 2017 will be very much on their minds.

That year the two sides met in the semi-final with the Rebels as favourites, but 1-9 from Cora Staunton ensured it was Mayo who advanced to the final.

Cork manager Shane Ronayne said they are looking forward to tomorrow and can't afford to look beyond that game and confirmed at all are fit and available for selection.

"Apart from Clare O'Shea who is out for the season all were available to play in an in-house game so we should have everybody in the running for selection tomorrow. There are loads of players putting their hands up for selection and even last Sunday in that game you could see an increase in the speed and intensity.

"We have had changes to the team in the last few games and different subs coming on and it's going to be hard going to pick the starting 15. There are so many players putting their hands up, but look it's a great position for us as a management team and the squad to be in.

"Obviously it will be disappointing for some, but as a group, I think we are stronger than we were a few weeks ago, with the likes of Hannah Looney back in the squad which is a huge boost. We know that whatever 15 start or subs that come on we have quality players now all over the pitch."

Cork's Roisin Phelan in action against Kellyann Hogan of Waterford during their TG4 All-Ireland SFC group game. Phelan has been a key player in the Cork defence in the championship this season. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile
Cork's Roisin Phelan in action against Kellyann Hogan of Waterford during their TG4 All-Ireland SFC group game. Phelan has been a key player in the Cork defence in the championship this season. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

While Shane is not looking beyond Saturday he is conscious that if they get through that the fast turnaround to the semi-final the following week that strength-in-depth will be needed.

"We can't look beyond tomorrow but if we do win then you will need the squad as with the semi-final on the following Saturday players might pick up knocks so we need to prepare for that.

"But all our energy now is on Mayo and our recent record against them isn't too good. They beat Cork in 2017 and we are conscious that they have quality players all over the pitch. The likes of Tara and Ciara Needham with Sinead and Lisa Cafferky are all in top form. Add in the likes of Shauna Howley, Sinead Walsh and Fiona McHale and they are going to be tough to beat.

"They got to the semi-final of the league where they lost to Meath and then against Dublin in the championship the scoreline probably didn't reflect their display. If we give them the opportunity to play tomorrow then we will suffer the consequences.

"We haven't been allowing huge scores to come against us and that's coming from our defence and also the work around the field and we will need to do that again tomorrow.

"But we have confidence in our own players and we are exactly where we want to be. There is no point in peaking too soon and if we can improve on our performance against Waterford we have a serious chance of getting to the semi-final and that's the aim," concluded Shane.

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