Galway WFC entertain DLR Waves on Saturday in Eamon Deacy Park (2pm ) in what will be their first home game in five weeks.
With four league games remaining, Galway will be seeking to solidify the fifth position they currently occupy in the Women’s National League table. Their upcoming games against DLR Waves and Bohemians, who lie in seventh and sixth respectively, will have a big bearing on that ambition.
Manager Alan Murphy says DLR Waves are a “bit of a benchmark” by which his squad can gauge their progress.
“They have been ahead of Galway over the last few years. We’d like to keep them behind us this year for the progression of the team. We won’t be taking this game lightly. Statistically and performance wise they’re probably very much on a par with us, so it will be a tough game.”
Galway WFC will be bolstered by the return of prominent duo Chloe Singleton and Therese Kinnevey. Preparations have been somewhat thwarted with four Galway women having been involved in the Ireland U19 squad. Julie-Ann Russell and Shauna Brennan were also in action for the international home-based senior team last night. That six Galway WFC players tasted international action in the past week is a testament to the talent in a squad Murphy is keen to keep together.
While the priority on Saturday for Murphy is to win the game, it is encouraging to hear that an eye remains on the future, despite the well-documented difficulties off the field.
“We need to have a look at a few things with next year in mind. We will try to introduce one or two [players] and give them a chance to make a claim to be getting in the team next season. Whatever the scenario may be at the end of the season, I’d like to see this group of players staying together so that they can progress.
“I think it is pretty clear that they have made a lot of strides this season and that they’re a good group. You only have to look at the stats, the amount of points we have accumulated and the 11-game unbeaten run in the middle of the season.”
After disappointment last time out in Cork, the Tribeswomen will be especially eager to bounce back and build on their earlier successes on Saturday afternoon.