Trill is proud of his pioneering women despite loss

Galway United Women produced a brave effort in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday in their inaugural competitive fixture when losing 1-0 to a highly fancied Wexford Youths side, and next up is a visit to Turner's Cross for Saturday's clash with with Cork City (5pm ).

Despite the opening day loss, pride was the overriding emotion at the end of a spirited encounter.

It is a feeling that one of their young stars Jenna Slattery echoed when reflecting on the massive occasion.

"Being the first Galway United Women's team, playing in our home ground was an amazing experinece. A lot of us are young, and to have that occasion was amazing. It really helped us in our preparation and in bringing us together as a team," she says.

"I am really proud of the players for the performance on Saturday. The girls worked immensely hard. We played well and kept ourselves in the game. Although we are underestimated because we are young, I feel like we are going to be up there with the top teams."

There was a hint of misfortune to the outcome as United had a goal disallowed for a tight offside call. The energy and enthusiasm of Phil Trill's side augurs well for the forthcoming fixtures nonetheless. Slattery and her colleagues are rightly ambitious for the rest of the season.

"As a team, I can see us building every week. I feel like we can compete at the highest level. Hopefully we can push towards the top end of the table. I feel like we are good contenders for the new All-Ireland competition and for the cup. If we stick together we can achieve what we want to achieve."

Slattery epitomises the great energy being cultivated in and around the group. However, perhaps most impressive Slattery's drive and commitment that mirrors that shown by many of her teammates.

The UL student is juggling study, work, travel, training and underage international responsibilities. Slattery scored a fortnight ago for the Ireland U19s, winning her 19th underage cap, in a famous 2-1 win against England. Her roots never forgotten, that special goal was dedicated to her former Fairview Rangers clubmate James Flanagan ("Barnsey" ) who sadly passed away recently.

While she hopes to be in the reckoning for the round two phase of European qualifiers in April that will pit Ireland against Norway, Germany and Greece, the Limerick native's focus is on Cork City away on Saturday.

"Cork will battle. I'm friendly with a few of the girls on that team. I think, though, from the way we started pre-season and our performance against Wexford, you can tell we really are a team. We will go down there, work hard, and hopefully put in a good performance and get the three points."

United will travel to Turner's Cross full of confidence, and eager to make their mark on an exciting new season for women's football.


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