Cork City Women's side can turn long preseason into top half finish under Danny Murphy 

'We put certain demands on the girls in the offseason to come back in a certain way so we can progress when the season starts'
Cork City Women's side can turn long preseason into top half finish under Danny Murphy 

 Danny Murphy, Cork City FC Women’s First Team Manager; Dermot Usher, Cork City FC Owner; Zara Foley, Women’s First Team Captain. Picture: Doug Minihane

WITH less than two weeks to go to the first game of the Women’s National League season, Cork City manager Danny Murphy cannot wait for the dress rehearsals to end and opening day against Shelbourne.

The Rebel Army are set to face the reigning double champions at Tolka Park on March 4 and the squad have been working towards this since the curtain went down against Treaty United last October.

Murphy, who took over the club midway through 2022, has spent the winter months moulding the team in his image with the goal of pushing them on to new heights.

“We probably started working from the day the season finished last year,” Murphy said. “We put certain demands on the girls in the offseason to come back in a certain way so we can progress when the season starts.

“Now that the girls came back in the right shape, we are able to move on with that and keep progressing.

“Shels is always going to be a tough game but I think there is no better way to start the season. Playing against them at the start of the season gives you every opportunity to see where you are at.

“I think we’re in a good place going into it, we just have a little bit more work to do and then we will be fine.”

Murphy has been at the helm since May 2022 and he finished out that year by seeing his team climb up the table to a ninth-place finish.

He used this time to overhaul the club structures, and that work is now paying off.

“I think there’s a lot of structural changes within the club, within the team, and how we do stuff,” he opened up. “Now we’re at a stage where we are confident as a group of players that we can beat anyone that we play against.

“It’s now about turning that into results on the pitch. I’d be disappointed if we did not finish in the top five.”

In addition to changing how the team is run, Murphy has strengthened his squad by bringing in a host of new players, including Jesse Mendez from Treaty United.

There’s a lot of competition for places so it makes this season more exciting. It’s going to be hard for everyone. No one is going to be guaranteed that they will be playing every week.

“They are going to have to work hard. That is something that we didn’t have last season. I feel like this year we have that all over the pitch.”

The new players joined a settled group that matured together and learned their places under Murphy last season.

They’ve turned his direction into a promising preseason campaign that saw a narrow loss to Wexford Youths and a 1-1 draw with a Shamrock Rovers team featuring Irish internationals Áine O’Gorman and Abbie Larkin.

The Hoops are the newest team to join the Women’s National League and that makes them the fifth representative from Dublin in the division.

“We’re looking forward to those trips and the teams that we’ll be playing against. In my opinion, I feel we’re the biggest team in the country and we need to start getting some trophies and some leagues to prove that we are.”


After they play Shelbourne, City’s first home game of the year will be against Galway United at Turner’s Cross.

There is a drive for 1,000 fans to be in attendance that is being organised by the ‘ The Other Three Amigos Podcast’ and Murphy has thrown his full support behind the campaign.

“There’s a big push to get a thousand people into the first game of the season. I think the record is 1,008 and we’re going to try and beat that with our first home game of the season.

“I think we can do it. In Cork we’re the only club and there’s a lot of young girls and women’s and girl’s football has become very popular.

“I think we need them coming out to games and watching the girls, having people to look up to. Hopefully we can get 1,000 young kids coming out and going to the game and enjoying it.”

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