As you are aware from previous correspondence, this season the CCFL will be represented in the inaugural Leinster Football Association Women’s Inter League tournament. While we did play in the WFAI Senior Cup as a representative side for 2 seasons a number of years ago, this competition is our first opportunity to play representative football on a tournament basis. Our women’s team will play 3 games in the coming weeks. It is a great opportunity for our most talented players to play football at a higher level and we hope this competition will give the women’s game in our area a great chance to prosper in the coming years. Lisa Gardiner, one of the squad members has sent us her insight into the work and preparations of the squad preparations to date. As you can see from Lisa’s report, there has already been great a commitment shown by the players and the management team. Many thanks to Lisa for sharing her experiences….. watch this space ….. more to follow !!!
CCFL Women’s Team …. The Journey Part 1
Here is an insight into the Combined Counties Women’s Soccer Inter league team from a player’s perspective.
We started training 5 weeks ago in Tullamore. At our first training session there were about 28 women present. It was a very hot day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! It was clear that a lot of people were nervous but as we started everyone realised that it was going to be a fun training session. We all got to know one another very quickly using passing drills which John had set up. We were all sweating with nerves before the training but believe me we were soaked in sweat by the end of it and it wasn’t nerves!!!! It was clear from that day on that our fitness, ball work, agility and speed were without a doubt going to change!
At the following Tuesday’s training the nerves had settled and there was a lot more craic and banter. Every girl works really hard to perform to their greatest ability and to learn from the drills so that they may bring it back into their own club. The drills are changed every week but they all work on a person’s focus and concentration, direct passes and ball work, speed and agility.
Two weeks ago we played Athlone IT in a challenge game. As we have a big squad, our trainers came up with a plan to play one set of women in the first half and the other set in the second half. This meant that everyone got a chance to show their abilities and development. In the first half the quality of football shown by all the women was great. The tactic that they used was very defensive. However at the end of the first half we were one goal down, with the score line standing at 2-1. As we changed our team in the second half, we also changed our tactic to an attacking one. With another great performance the game ended level with the score line being 2-2. It was a well fought, tough game and it brought all of our squad together. As we all play for different clubs, we have often played against one another and believe me there is ‘no love lost’ on the pitch in those 90 minutes! But after that match against AIT, we all felt like a REAL squad.
Last Tuesday we had 22 girls at training. The weather was awful and the rain was falling out of the sky all evening so it was brilliant to see such a turnout. Like any other Tuesday we did our warm up and stretch. We were then split into two groups of 8. One group was working on speed, focus , passing and direction with John and the other group was working on skill, agility, technique of footwork and ball work with Trevor, the goalies were with Jay developing their passing & stopping of the ball and quick kick outs. Even though the rain continued everyone was in great spirits and you could hear the laughter around the area. After we had completed the drills, we played a match amongst ourselves. Everybody was so focused and was really enjoying the training that we actually lost track of time and we were the last ones left in the sports ground. This shows great commitment by the management and all the players. As the man says ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, and girls just want to have fun!!!!!