Athlone Town captain striving for silverware success as showpiece occasion awaits

Athlone Town team captain, Laurie Ryan, celebrates following the team’s victory in the FAI Women’s Cup semi-final against Sligo Rivers at The Showgrounds. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Athlone Town team captain, Laurie Ryan, celebrates following the team’s victory in the FAI Women’s Cup semi-final against Sligo Rivers at The Showgrounds. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Achieving a place in this season’s FAI women’s cup final is just reward for a season complete with consistent performances for Athlone Town captain, Laurie Ryan.

So often the on pitch fulcrum, the Clare native, who signed for Athlone Town in 2021, continues to play a pivotal role from her central midfield berth and akin to her playing colleagues will be hoping to achieve silverware success in Tallaght Stadium on Sunday.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser, Ryan is looking forward to the occasion, the club’s historic appearance in successive finals due reward for their end of season positive playing form.

“Personally speaking, I realise that it is a privilege to play in a major cup final and to do so on successive occasions is an honour. Who knows when this opportunity will arise in the future so hopefully, we can reverse the result of last season on Sunday. We are very well placed to be competitive and win this final and as a team, we are truly looking forward to the contest,” Ryan said.

The TUS Athlone campus lecturer, praised the impact of manager, Ciarán Kilduff, following his appointment to the role in late June.

“My Athlone Town journey started with Tommy Hewitt (former manager ) and while I was disappointed to see him depart, Ciarán has more than adequately filled the managerial devoid. The work Ciarán and our coaching staff has conducted during training sessions is now being realised and we have proved very difficult to beat since the return of competitive action following the mid-season break.

“Ciarán has changed the manner in which we play and thankfully, as a team, we have been able to adapt to different in game situations as they arise. We build from defence and with our offensive players there is always a chance to create and convert opportunities when they arise,” Ryan added.

Ryan’s positive mindset is clearly evident and she lauds the attitude of her playing colleagues, the team’s form giving just cause for optimism prior to the final kick off on Sunday.

“We have a great bond as a team, each girl wants to enhance their playing capabilities. The standards are set during our training sessions and have been replicated when needed in competitive fixtures. If we improve as individuals, then that will only benefit us as a team,” Ryan continued.

With such a positive attitude, the Clare intercounty footballer is hoping to rectify the 2022 FAI Cup final result, when defeat to Sunday’s opposition gave cause for much end of season disappointment.

“We have a good balance in our team this season and many players will be experiencing their first major final on Sunday. Hopefully, the experience of those players who played in last year’s final will come to the fore and as a unit we combine well to earn our desired result,” Ryan remarked.

Reflecting on the 2022 final fixture, Ryan recalls the vast supporting numbers who journeyed to the capital to support Athlone Town in Tallaght Stadium and is hoping for a replication of such scenes on Sunday.

“We have been well supported during the season and for that we are grateful. The atmosphere which prevailed when we won the President’s Cup at the start of the season is one which I shall forever remember and hopefully, we can give our supporters much to celebrate when the final whistle blows on Sunday,” Ryan concluded.

With Laurie Ryan at the playing helm, Athlone Town will not want for a winning desire on Sunday. Her attitude and application continues to positively impact her playing colleagues and as a unit it is hoped that this team can culminate their season with much merited silverware success on Sunday!


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