After a convincing 5-0 win in Cork, a game moved to Bishopstown we’re into the Cup semi-finals to play Shelbourne. Were you pleased with the performance?
It was a good, professional performance. The use of the ball for some of the goals, and we were very good with our movement and some of our choice of passing. There was the spell at the start of the second half where we were a little bit slow in coming out but overall, it was very pleasing and it was a professional job done.
There was really good one touch football for the opening goal by Stephanie and then the build-up play involving every outfield player as Joy made it 3-0. Was there a lot to admire about those goals in particular?
Yes, and it wasn’t just in that one Cork game. We’ve had goals like that against Sligo, and Cork in the league as well so it’s nice to see the patterns of play that we’ve been working on in training, are coming off on the pitch and the players are getting more comfortable in trying to implement the style of play that we’re looking to produce in the future.
Jess Gargan chipped in with two assists and the last one in particularly was very good, to put it on a plate for Lauren Kelly in injury time. How good was Jess was on the day?
It was a great finish by Lauren on that one but Jess has been very good going forward. Whether it’s her or Sav or Lia in the left-back position, they give a great outlet and I think a lot of our goals this year, and a lot of our opportunities have come through our full-backs. We try and encourage them to go forward but we can’t have that style of play without having the likes of Jess Hennessy and Shauna at the back that can handle anything that comes their way.
It’s one win each against Wexford Youths this season, in the league and the defeat in the All-Island competition, which was more of an experimental lineup from Rovers. What did we learn from those?
Since Lizzy Kent has taken over (from Stephen Quinn in June) they’ve changed shape a little bit and for most of it have been pretty consistent in their performances. There’s been an uptick in their play and they don’t give away too many opportunities now. They’re a little bit more ‘we’ll let you have it’ with an onus on us to try and break them down. Their main strength then is on the counter attack because in the final third they’ve great attacking players like Rianna Jarrett and Ellen Molloy, who’s coming back to fitness and they’re good in the wide areas as well. So, it’s one of those games where we’ll have to try and not make too many mistakes and if we can just stick to what we’ve been doing and maintain the momentum that we’ve been building over the last while, I think we’ll be OK.
Wexford have won all three of their league games since the break, scoring four goals in each of them – Rovers also have a 100% record – and the game is live on TG4. Is it two teams with a lot of firepower meeting when they’re both in great form in front of goal?
It is because I think both teams have players that will punish any mistakes being made, so it might come down to a set play or the team that makes the least number of mistakes on the day. Because there is that firepower in both sides to go and score goals so it could be about who’s defence will come out on top.
A number of Rovers players were involved in the Ireland Under-19s games during the break, with Joy on the scoresheet, and was it great to see Savannah McCarthy recalled to the senior side after a lengthy spell on the sidelines?
It was. I’m delighted for her. After being out for so long, for over a year and all the hard work that she’s put in to get back playing. Then to get an international call-up, you can only admire all the work that she’s put in and be delighted for her. I hope it’s the first of many and a good omen that Shamrock Rovers players get called into the international sides, so long may that continue.
What’s the latest on Amanda Budden’s injury?
Amanda has trained this week so she’s fit and available for selection. Maria Reynolds has got extra minutes with the 19s and she’s available as well. The only injury we have is Orlaith O’Mahony, she’ll be out a week or two.