FAI Continental Tyres Women's National League Previews
Saturday, November 22
Castlebar Celtic v UCD Waves, Celtic Park (6.00pm). Referee: Damien MacGraith
THE kick-off for this game has been brought forward by an hour. Castlebar will be looking to get their stop-start season back on track while UCD Waves are seeking to maintain their title push.
Adrian Carberry has Jess Nolan available as she returns following a bout of flu but Yvonne Hedigan is a doubt through illness while Orlagh Devaney is unavailable this week.
Castlebar lost 3-1 away to Wexford Youths last week and Carberry believes that his side are not performing at the level they are capable of reaching this season.
"It's been a very disappointing season so far. I expected us to step up this year. We've not had a full squad yet this season and that is an issue. Perhaps I shouldn't have signed players with other commitments," he said.
"We were unlucky with conceding two penalties last week but there's no question that Wexford deserved to win. We've probably had to carry one or two players this season and you really can't do that at this level.
"Having said that, some players have done very well. Jess Nolan was a loss to us last week. We've been disappointed with the season so far but if you get one big scalp it would ignite our season.
"Our training this week was more like what we expect it to be but if you want to play at the top level of football in this country you have to get everything right. Once you do that then you just have to go out and play. If ever you want to get a lift is for games like this."
Waves boss Eileen Gleeson will be looking for her side to build on their 7-2 win over Cork City last week. She said: "Hopefully the game goes ahead given the way the weather has been. We scored some good goals last week. Aine scored very early and got a hat-trick after 25 minutes so we'll be looking to continue with that sort of attacking form.
"We've played Castlebar twice this season in the league and the cup and we know they have a lot of pace and attacking players who can cause problems so I'm sure it will be a very competitive game particularly at their place."
Sunday, November 23
Cork City Women's FC v Peamount United, Bishopstown (2.00pm). Referee: Sinead Forde
CORK City Women's FC continue their search for a first win of the campaign but will be expecting a tough challenge against Peamount on Sunday.
The Peas were held to a 2-2 draw by Galway WFC last weekend but showed good resilience to get a point from a game that swung from one side's favour to the other.
Peas boss Robbie Mulligan has a full squad to choose from. "We're looking forward to it. We're looking to build on last week's game after having a break," he said.
"The girls were happy to get a game under their belt after a bit of a break. Galway was tough but we knew that was going to be the case. We're looking to get back to winning ways and we're going down full of confidence."
Cork have some injury concerns. Megan Carroll is likely to miss out with an ankle injury while Katie McCarthy is also a major doubt after picking up a knock in training. Nathalie O'Brien continues her recovery from a broken leg while Fiona Considine and Chloe Ahern are still a few weeks away from full fitness despite being back in training.
"We recently switched systems and you can see some of the benefit of this switch last Sunday with both Emer Gilroy and Shannon Carson taking their goals well," said City boss Charlie Lynch.
"We're obviously unhappy at the number of goals we conceded but there were a lot of positives from the game as well and we will be approaching Sunday's game in a positive manner."
Raheny United v Wexford Youths Women's FC, Morton Stadium (2.00pm). Referee: Rhona Daly
CHAMPIONS Raheny United will be without suspended Rebecca Creagh when they tackle FAI Continental Tyres Women's National League leaders Wexford Youths at Morton Stadium on Sunday.
The Pandas had no fixture last weekend and coach Casey McQuillan hopes that the break will help his players recharge the batteries after an intense start to the campaign.
"We had no game last week so we gave the girls the weekend off. We hope it helps and hope to reap the benefits on Sunday but we can't take out eye off the ball. It's a tough one and we'll have to cope without Rebecca but that's what a squad is for," he said.
"Wexford are more attack-minded this season than in the past and are a dangerous opponent. They have momentum after a good start. We'll have to be wary. That said, I'm a firm believer that if we do our stuff and play to the level we're capable of we can get a result."
Wexford coach Will Doyle will anxiously await the outcome of a colleges tournament which took place today as he has a number of players involved. Kyle Murphy got a knock last week so is a doubt. Clare O'Riordan is ill while Becky Hayden and Orlagh Hickey are recovering from injuries.
"It's Raheny we are playing and they've not lost in the league in the past 18 months so that speaks for itself," said Doyle.
"This is the sort of game that if we're to maintain our title challenge we have to get a result. If they win their games in hand they'll go top of the league and if they keep going the way their going they'll be very hard to stop lifting the title again.
"We're grinding out results. We're not playing particularly well but are seeing out games that perhaps in the past we weren't doing."