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Limerick manager Dave Rooney remained a positive figure despite his side’s 6-3 defeat against Galway in their Só Hotels Women’s National League opener in a rain-swept Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.

His youthful team may have conceded six, but it wasn't all doom and gloom for the home side, as the Dubliner was quick to point towards the many positives including a welcomed return to the ‘spiritual home of Limerick soccer’.

While those who braved the stormy surroundings got their value for money, Rooney believes that even though his young guns came out on the wrong side of a nine-goal thriller, significant progress has been made, both on and off the pitch.

“It was a crazy game,” he said. “I thought we were well in the game early on in the first half - obviously conditions played a big factor.”

“We probably had the best chances early on – I think it was probably one of those games when you have the conditions in your favour, you need to score first,” Rooney added.

With this in mind, the Limerick manager was disappointed with the manner of the goals his side conceded, especially in the first half.

“One was a break from our corner.

“We sent the two tall girls up and they broke quickly against us,” he explained.

“I thought we done well to recover from the first mistake but it was the Galway girls running at us and our girls were very slow getting back.

“The second one – look we’ve two young fullbacks that are only babies at this level and they are up against two really good players Lynsey [McKey] and Aislinn [Meaney] – two smashing players,” said the frustrated Limerick WFC manager.

Despite the errors, Rooney believes that the team and the overall club are in a way better position than they were towards the end of last season.

“They will learn a lot from the game and that’s where we are – we are a very, very young side.

“I think we are a far better side than we were last year, a far better class of player, but they are only babies.

“They are only 16 and 17 years of age so we just need to nurture them and bring them forward,” he said.

After guiding Limerick to a seventh-place finish in their inaugural season last year, Rooney is satisfied to take it step by step in a bid to develop young local talent whilst growing the club, especially in the midst of financial uncertainly for the men’s side.

The Limerick boss believes that nothing will compare to the valuable experience that his side is getting by playing in the national league.

“Whatever we do this year will be a bonus and I’m looking forward to the future years with them.

“Galway wouldn’t be the oldest team – but they’ve played in the league.

“There is a big difference when you have played in the league for a few years – you understand when to go and when not to go.

“Galway are a good side, I think they’ll push the top three teams from last year [Wexford, Shelbourne, Peamount] – I think they could get up amongst that.

“Our two full backs are 16 years of age.

“Aoife [Horgan] that came on is only just turned 16.

“We’ve a really, really young side but we’ve plenty of pace in it, plenty of ‘ballers’ as they call it – some technically really good players,” Rooney said.

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