Three wins on the trot for United Women

Galway United captain Lynsey McKey at the launch of Avenir Sports All-Island Cup 2024 at the FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Galway United captain Lynsey McKey at the launch of Avenir Sports All-Island Cup 2024 at the FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

From his appointment, Galway United Women’s manager Phil Trill has always struck a confident and optimistic tone. Yet, he could scarcely be any other way after three wins from as many matches to start this season.

His side began the defence of the Avenir All-Island Cup last Saturday with a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds. Enjoying her first start of the campaign, striker Rola Olusola bagged a brace at the scene of last season’s greatest success.

Trill was pleased with the performance. He said: “We made five or six changes which is really good. It shows how healthy the group is. We were able to give full debuts. It shows the strength in depth we now have”.

“Maria [O’Sullivan] played really well. Lucy Jane Grant who just came in from Athlone played. Emma Duffy, a great young kid from Tuam, did really well. Heather Loomes, 15-years of age, came off the bench. Rola Olusola and Jodie Griffin got their first starts. It shows the strength we have and the belief we have in everyone”.

Having kept the core of an impressive squad together after a successful first campaign, their ranks have been bolstered this season.

“We had a good squad but we have added and improved it this year. We have brought in people who are really hungry and looking to put down a marker. The likes of Maria and Lucy Jane are established in the league. Mary Kate Tyrrell has experience. Adding Julie-Ann Russell to your ranks, she is a great addition. It’s added a lot to the ladies who are still here. We are a bit more attacking as well”.

In a quirk of the calendar, the same trip awaits United this weekend. They travel again to Sligo this Saturday, this time to take on Rovers in the league. Trill views the experience gained last week as a positive.

“I think last week did us the world of good playing on that surface. It was our first game on grass. We know what we are facing this Saturday. They will change one or two things in their gameplan. They are very much improved. They are physical and it is very aggressive football. But it works. We have to respect them”.

Asked on his views on the start to the season more broadly, the manager was not getting carried away with the perfect start.

He said: “I think we have started okay. Our performances have been good. I thought we were very good against Athlone. I still feel like we had another gear in us. We played well against Cork. We are in a good place, but we went into May last season top of the table, and we saw how cut-throat the league is”.

“Out of our last 17 games, we’ve conceded twice. We have 15 clean sheets in our last 17 games. It’s a process. That’s the best way to look at it. That way you are present in every moment. You don’t go away from anything having any regrets. You can control your actions and reactions. If you look too far ahead you can miss what is around you”.

 

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