CHRISTMAS may be only a few days away but the Cork City women’s squad are currently well into their ‘pre’ pre-season programme.
The real hard work will commence on January 14 and this will be the first pre-season under manager Danny Murphy.
In preparation for what’s to come then, Murphy has given each member of the squad their own programme to keep them ticking over these last few weeks and for the next few weeks to ensure they can do more technical work rather than physical.
“We have put the onus on the girls,” insists. Murphy.
“To be a footballer at a high level you need to keep yourself fit and you need to keep yourself at a level where you can improve and develop all the time.
“We gave them programmes to do in the off-season to get fitter and then come back in for pre-season where we can spend a lot more time on the ball and less time running around the football pitch.”
In total, there will be seven weeks from when pre-season begins and the real action starts with City kicking off the recently rebranded SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division against the league and cup champions Shelbourne at Tolka Park on March 4.
Their first game at Turner’s Cross will take place the following Saturday evening against Galway United.
“It is a tough start,” admits Murphy.
“But there’s a lot of stuff going on up in Dublin with players moving all over the place so it will be like playing completely different teams next year.
We are going to break our season down into blocks of five and look at where we expect to get results.
“We will set little targets and goals for the girls and have our own little targets and goals as a staff of where we want to be and the number of points that we want to achieve.”
The club will be hoping to vastly improve on last season’s second from bottom finish and in order to achieve this, Murphy has already begun rebuilding his squad with the signings of Erika Manfre from America and former academy star Jesse Mendez from Treaty United.
They will meet up with Zara Foley, Lauren Walsh, Ciara McNamara, Eva Mangan, Kelly Leahy, Danielle Burke, Laura Shine, Christina Dring, Nadine Seward, Aoibhin Donnelly, Hannah Walsh, Abby McCarthy, and Chloe Atkinson who are the only confirmed re-signings at the time of writing.
“The biggest thing for me is that I am going to keep people that I feel can add to the team and that are going to improve the squad,” adds Murphy.
“I’m giving people the chance to come back in pre-season to show that they can do that and make us a better.
“We want to compete at the top end of the table and not be where we are.”