IN their fourth season in the Cork Women’s and Schoolgirls Soccer League, Glenthorn Celtic are hoping for success in this campaign.
Manager Paul Burke has assembled a quality squad, one in which he believes can take them a step further than last season.
“For myself, it’s my fourth year involved with the team and it’s very rewarding seeing the girls improve week in, week out,” said Burke.
"After a promising season last year, I really believe we can push on this year.”
The Northside club have made massive strides. With numbers rising again this season, Burke and his backroom staff decided the girls were ready to move onto the next level and now they look forward to competing in the Munster and Intermediate Cup competition.
“We started back pre-season mid-January and there has been a great buzz. Because numbers have risen this season as well as the quality of the team, we decided we would give the girls every opportunity of winning silverware as well as the experience of playing at a higher level and therefore entered the Munster and Intermediate Cup.
"We travel to Clare this weekend to take on Bridge United which is a massive day for the club.
“We started off training on Tuesday nights in the Glen Resource Centre but due to high numbers, we have moved training back to our pitch at St Aidan's Community College in Dublin Hill. The club have purchased mobile lights to accommodate the ladies training sessions at the pitch and I know the girls appreciate it but that’s what they deserve.
“From last year's squad we are only down one player who left for Canada to work but thankfully we have signed a number of talented and experienced players. It’s fantastic to welcome Rebecca Kearney, Lya Gilhooly, Emma Sheehan, Sarah O’Connor, Vanessa Varian and Chloe Buckley to the club. These players can bring skill and experience to the group and it’s a sign that the girls are improving year on year to attract such players.
"Rebecca Kearney was a huge talent a few years back so hopefully she can help push the group on.
“Our aim for the coming season is once again to be competitive and hopefully improve from last season. Last year we came up short for the league as we conceded late in two games from winnings positions to draw the games. We could have won the league only for the small lapses in concentration so hopefully, the girls will learn from that this season."
They also made the cup semi-final only to be knocked out in sudden death.
"I have no doubt the girls would have learned more from those losses than the games we won.
“There’s a great bunch of girls and the backbone of the squad would be Simone Austin, Jessica Burns, Sophie Barry, Stacey Foley and Maggie Cullen. In goal we have Kirsty Barrett who was superb last season and also has huge experience in ladies soccer. In midfield, we have the talented Liadh Forde, Jenny Byrne, Chloe Buckley and Nicole Timmons.
"Then our attacking options would be Nicole O'Brien, Donna O'Neill, Lya Gilhooly, Wendy Cahill and our Golden Boot winner from last season Julie Peyton. The rest of the squad is made up of newcomers Rebecca Kearney, Emma Sheehan, Sarah O’Connor, Gina Carroll, Nicole Breen, Theresa McNamara, Vanessa Varian, Cheyanne O'Driscoll, Pamela Coleman and Danielle Austin.
“The best thing about coaching the girls is that they listen and want to learn. There is an awful lot involved when you’re on the committee and also involved with the men’s premier team but it’s a matter of just getting on with it. Plus my two kids Kelly and Roy love coming up to all the matches and training sessions so that makes it a little easier. Also with the help of Jason McCarthy and Gina Carroll on the sideline it will make my job easier as both of them have great knowledge of the game.
“I would like to thank our main sponsors Murphy's Rock Bar and especially Paudi Coughlan for looking after all our teams after the matches, Decky Barry of Southern Pumps for the girls' new warm-up tops, Fiona Connolly at Bus Eireann in Capwell for our new kit, Jemma Guckian at Decky’s Foodstore and Paul O'Brien Heating and Plumbing."