Today see’s the welcome return of the Bus Eireann FAI Women’s National League, and a revitalised Shamrock Rovers head into their second season high in confidence. Competing in senior women’s football for the first time last season, Rovers endured a steep learning curve as they attempted to build a competitive squad. This year the club are better prepared following a good pre-season and the hope is to see substantial improvement on last season’s results.
The Women start their campaign off with a challenging trip to Cork, a side who finished last season strongly to secure 3rd spot in the table. Previous games between the sides have been close affairs, with Rovers on the end of a couple of narrow defeats. If Rovers can be more prolific in front of goal this year though, we will surely see the women on the right side of these close encounters more often this season.
Key among the players expected to shine this year is Rachel Jenkins, whose excellent performances last year saw her rewarded with a place in the WNL Team of the Year. Jenkins will be surrounded by many other familiar faces from last season, such as Joanne Ennis, Orlagh Noland and Grainne Walsh. Another of last year’s squad is Tallaght native Carol Conlon, who will be captaining the side in the coming season. New signing to look out for include: Sabrina Hughes and Amy Phelan, both signing from Liffey Celtic in Kildare.
Assessing how the squad are shaping up for the season ahead, Manager John Walsh told us:
“The new players are settling in very well and they really fit the profile of players we want at Shamrock Rovers. We have built a squad over the summer based on commitment, loyalty and a hard working approach; you can really see the difference in the girls this year. We have some fabulous young players who will shine this season.
With a full pre season behind the team there is an expectation among us all to climb the table this season. I really see it happening as the biggest signing for the Club was the appointment of Grainne Keirns as head Coach. She has a huge experience in the women’s game having played for Arsenal, Charlton and Leeds along with playing over 30 times for Ireland. What Grainne brings to Shamrock Rovers is more than any other coach out there in the women’s game.. I don’t believe we could have found a better one. Her winning “can do” mentality is having a positive effect on the squad and the outlook for the season will be a very positive one. “
The league has a seven team format this season, with each side meeting three times. New entrants to the league are DLR Waves (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown), while last year’s double winners Peamount United are likely the side to beat once again.
The Women’s first home game is the 30th of September in Tallaght Stadium, entrance is free and all are welcome and encouraged to come along and support our ladies in the top flight of women’s football in Ireland.
Shamrock Rovers Women’s Team Fixtures:
26/08/2012 14:00 Cork Womens FC v Shamrock Rovers
30/09/2012 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Raheny United Tallaght Stadium
07/10/2012 14:00 Wexford Youths v Shamrock Rovers
03/11/2012 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v DLR Waves Tallaght Stadium
11/11/2012 14:00 Peamount United v Shamrock Rovers
18/11/2012 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Castlebar Celtic FC Tallaght IT
02/12/2012 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Cork Womens FC Tallaght IT
06/01/2013 14:00 Raheny United v Shamrock Rovers
13/01/2013 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Wexford Youths Tallaght IT
20/01/2013 14:00 DLR Waves v Shamrock Rovers
27/01/2013 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Peamount United Tallaght IT
10/02/2013 14:00 Castlebar Celtic FC v Shamrock Rovers
24/02/2013 14:00 Cork Womens FC v Shamrock Rovers
31/03/2013 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Raheny United TBC
14/04/2013 14:00 Wexford Youths v Shamrock Rovers
21/04/2013 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v DLR Waves Tallaght Stadium
28/04/2013 14:00 Peamount United v Shamrock Rovers
12/05/2013 14:00 Shamrock Rovers v Castlebar Celtic FC Tallaght Stadium