Awkward Athlone assignment next for improving Galway WFC

Alan Murphy's team continue to impress

Having stitched a seven match unbeaten run together, Galway WFC will be eager to deliver another defiant display when facing Athlone Town at Fahy's Field on Saturday (2pm ).

Alan Murphy's improving team secured a 1-1 draw against standard bearers Shelbourne as Republic of Ireland U19 international Jenna Slattery pounced to score an equaliser.

Galway WFC lost last in April with Murphy encouraged about aspects of the display at the Drumcondra venue.

"It was a funny one, satisfied - yes we were satisfied, but still there was that feeling afterwards where we were a little disappointed being honest," Murphy reflects.

"We thought we were probably pushing to get the winner in the end, but it didn't come, and you have to be realistic too. Shelbourne had conceded one goal this season and are a really, really fine team full of quality players. We move on. It is another game that we scratch off to prepare again for next week."

Throughout the campaign admirable resilience has been demonstrated by Galway with Murphy aware of the potential that exists.

"The girls have bought in to what we are trying to do," he replies. "It has been tough at times. We have trained tough, there is a lot of organisation, a lot of work done on the training pitch. The girls are buying in, we have lost a player or two - it has been a little bit disruptive at times, but we still have the end goal in sight.

"We are concentrating on the game at the end of the week, to see how we can perform. I keep using that word perform because we performed OK and we have got the results for the performances most of the time."

A gutsy Athlone Town, who overpowered Galway 3-1 in March, have made tremendous progress under Tommy Hewitt's shrewd guidance.

"Athlone are a fine team," Murphy adds. "They are a very resilient bunch, they really work hard. They have got momentum, they have really pushed on, they got a good result last week after a little blip the previous week.

"We won't take anything for granted and we will remember very much about our previous game with Athlone."

A particularly interesting and exciting WNL campaign is unfolding with teams throughout the country improving according to Murphy.

"There are no easy games, there has been a few big scores, but you will find that team bouncing back the following week making it difficult for someone," Murphy replies.

"Sligo possibly should have been beaten by Treaty the previous weekend and then they have a brilliant result. The quality is definitely going up. You see the type of players, the quality of the players now in the league. You also see that these players are moving at times too.

"We played Shels the last day and two or three of the Shels players now are getting moves - Jess Ziu and Saoirse Noonan and Chloe Mustaki - there is talk about these players leaving, going to England to further their careers.

"We lose them in terms of the league, but that is the product that we have at the moment, that we are creating those types of players."

**Listen to the full interview with Galway WFC manager Alan Murphy on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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