CORK CITY WFC continue to build behind the scenes as they recently announced the appointment of Craig Robinson as the new manager of their Women’s U17 side.
The club were looking to ease the workload on Jess Lawton, who oversaw both the U17 and U19 squads last season.
Lawton will remain in charge of the 19s while Robinson, who is best known for running CR Coaching and has previously coached with Mayfield United, the Cork Schoolboys League, and Lakewood Athletic’s senior women’s team, will focus on the 17s.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Robinson, who also previously worked with the City seniors under Charlie Lynch when they were known as Cork Women’s Football Club.
“When Danny Murphy asked me and he told me what he was trying to do with the whole club — bringing the teams together, the new style, and the new philosophy — he really sold it to me.
“We had a chat after I applied and it progressed from there. He talked about what he wanted to do with the club and he liked what I wanted to do and my background so we kind of clicked I suppose.
“I have always enjoyed coaching in the women’s game so it was a nice gig to get me back into the women’s game and at an elite level which is always good. I would be big into playing ball and encouraging the girls not to be afraid to make mistakes so they can learn from their mistakes.
“It’s going to be a learning process. Ok, at this level results are big but at the same time, we want to make sure we are developing the players so that they can step up to 19s level and then even on to senior level.
“We want to make sure they will have the technical attributes to play at those levels, we want to develop them as players and get good results.
“But if they are playing good football and they are enjoying their game, in the long run, you are going to get the results.
“The season is going to start roughly at the beginning of March. We are already trying to line up a couple of pre-season friendlies and getting a structure in place but we are looking forward to starting, it’s an exciting one.”
Robinson has wasted no time in getting down to business as he has already set about recruiting coaches to work with him as well as holding trials to build his squad for the new season ahead.
“I have a good coaching staff behind me that I trust and that I know so I have good support there to keep it going,” he added.
“At the moment I have Scott Forrest confirmed as a coach. Scott is a lad I know, he’s a good young coach and he has been working in the women’s game with the Gaynor Cup teams.
“There are a few others that I am still talking to at the moment and I am hoping they will come on board as well.
“We are looking for coaches that have good experience in the women’s game and that can bring something to the team and help the players develop.
“In terms of players, about half the squad is still left over from last year and there is a good group of the girls that could still potentially play U17s that are going to move up to the U19s this year.
“We have already held trials last week, we had about 60 players on trial so we are hoping to narrow that down a little bit more going into the next trial this week.
“It’s been good. At the trials, I met the girls from last year and I met the group of girls that want to join this year.
“There is a good group there, an exciting group that are well able to play ball and a good style of football. So we are looking forward to getting down to it when the squad is narrowed down. But in terms of future prospects, there is a good group of players coming through around Cork which is great to see and there is a good group of coaches coming through as well."