WU17 & WU19 Preview

It’s been another whirlwind week for the Cork City WU17 squad with three players Clodagh Fitzgerald, Ciara Fitzpatrick and Keira Sena called up to the Irish U16 squad and that’s where out weekend lookahead with Jess Lawton starts. “It’s brilliant for the three girls and well deserved and to be fair, there’s probably two or three more that could be sneaking into the squad, we have a huge amount of quality in our squad and definitely think there are girls there who are worth looking at for International level. Luckily the girls aren’t missing any games and the trip to Wales next week isn’t a long trip, so hopefully they enjoy the opportunity and come back to us without any injury”.

It’s a tricky task on Saturday 10th as the WU17 host Shamrock Rovers in the Quarter Final of the FAI Cup in Bishopstown at 2pm. “We’re looking forward to it. While we know that there’s a cup semi-final at stake, we’ll play the game and not the moment. It’s easy enough to get distracted by an occasion but it’s just a match and that’s how we treat it. We haven’t played Shamrock Rovers this season, so they’re a little bit of an unknown for us, I know they have good players and how they set up, I’ve done my research on them but again we focus on our game and our players and we don’t change too much. We are looking at our defensive shape front to back, we’re a young U17 side, but we won’t change what isn’t broken. We’re playing well and our confidence is up.”

Chloe Atkinson and Eva Mangan have been called up to the Irish U19 Camp next week which means Lawton has to plan without Chloe for Sunday’s trip to DLR waves with the U19 squad. “Again, it’s great to see the girls recognised, but we could have done with Chloe, we are down girls due to illness and injury but we’ve been playing really good football and were really unlucky last weekend. We weren’t great in the first half, performance was poor. I think the girls saw a different side to me at half-time” laughs Jess “but that’s all part of it. We fought back and we’re better in the second half, not as good as we have been playing over the past few weeks but I was happy with the reaction.”

“DLR will be missing players as well due to the international camp. It’ll be a good contest, we’ll play proper football, the girls will put everything into it. We only really have to be in top form as we’re heading towards quarter final stages and we’re starting to see that with this group. We’re turning a corner and we’re starting to see those levels we know we can hit more consistently and we want to see that level of performance on Sunday again.”

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