Wexford Youths manager Tom Elmes was just happy that his side managed to get the job done after his side's hard-fought win over DLR Waves in their Só Hotels Women’s National League opener in Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday.

The scoreboard may have read 3-0 in favour of the hosts at the end, but it wasn't always a comfortable evening for the champions, and with the game almost at the hour mark before the deadlock was broken, Elmes admitted his side took a while to find their stride.

“We knew the conditions would play a part and getting the first touch right was difficult. In fairness DLR also put in a good shift and put under pressure early on and it just took us a while to adjust to that. We had a chat at half-time about how we needed to tidy things up.

"We were trying to do the right things, but it was just a little bit sloppy. Once we did that we knew we'd have enough to create more chances,” he said.

Elmes was delighted with the contribution of his bench, with Edel Kennedy, Katrina Parrock and Sarah McKevitt all playing their part when introduced.

“The squad has strengthened as a whole this year and you saw the impact from the players off the bench. It's great when you can do that, bring on players that can change a game,” he said.
However, it was last season's WNL Player of the Year Rianna Jarrett that played the most pivotal role, helping herself to a double, as well as laying on the assist for Jenny Clifford, and Elmes says the star striker can be even better this time around.

“She's a lot fitter this year than she has been for a long time. You can see her chasing balls down in behind, which is something we weren't getting enough of last year. She always had the quality on the ball but she can give us even more this year. It's great to see her get off the mark in the first game and it bodes well for the season,” he said.

After guiding Wexford Youths to a hat-trick of trophies last term in his debut season it won't be easy for Elmes to match that handsome haul, although he won't be looking too far ahead, with the league as the number one priority.

“We'll stay grounded and the next game is always the most important one. We won't look past that. If there's another league title at the end of it that would be fantastic. That's our main goal, but we'll take each week as it comes,” he said.

The Wexford boss believes nothing will come easy this season, with all sides involved posing a serious threat, although he does admit that the usual suspects, Shelbourne and Peamount United, will provide the stiffest tests.

“The league is improving all the time. You've seen a very well organised DLR team come down here tonight and they asked a lot of questions of us. I'm expecting that from the whole league.

"Obviously you're going to get your big, tough games against the likes of Peamount and Shelbourne, which could decide the league,” he said.

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