Article courtesy of Gareth Maher - Irish Daily Mail on Monday 13th May 

BEFORE we bid farewell to the second season of the Bus Éireann Women’s National League, there are a few end-of-term report cards to hand out.
If we were to grade the WNL as a whole, it would receive a B, with the footnotes stating how much improvement it has made, while recognising there is still work to be done to reach maximum potential.

It has been a largely competitive season, with the addition of DLR Waves bringing a different edge to things, while the emergence of more talented youngsters proves that this league has a bright future. 

Selecting a Best XI was quite a task, as we had to leave out the likes of Mary Waldron, Stephanie Roche, Jessica Gleeson, Emma Hansberry, Katie McCabe, Sylvia Gee, and even Louise Quinn. But here’s our review of the season...

PLAYER OF THE SEASON:
CarolIne Thorpe (Raheny United)
After narrowly missing out on the title last year, Raheny knew they needed more bite to their team, so the recruitment of thorpe from rivals Peamount was a shrewd move. the experienced midfielder has been a revelation, with an engine that never seems to run out.

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON 
Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths)
Part of a group of talented players making their name at Wexford, Dwyer is a someone who takes everything in her stride. She is a defender who is comfortable with the ball at her feet, she reads the game well, and has the pace to cover for team-mates.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON
John Flood (Wexford Youths)
Every manager has done their bit this season to raise the overall standard of the WNL, but Flood’s approach has been that extra bit special. Always looking for the positives, he allows his players to do what they are best at and provides top training to keep challenging them.

HIGHlIGHT of THE SEASON
International Recognition 
Even though the Republic of Ireland Under 17s and U19s both fell at the Elite Phase hurdles, and the senior team had a mixed year, it was hugely encouraging to see so many home-based players involved. It is a credit to the competition and every club that they are producing international stars.

LOWLIGHT OF THE SEASON

Abandonment In CorK

It doesn’t matter who was to blame for Cork’s game against DLR Waves being abandoned after half an hour in April, the unprofessional manner
in how it was handled was appalling. you can bet that the situation would have been dealt with differently in the Airtricity League.

HOPE FOR NEXT SEASON 
More Teamn
The stop-start nature to the schedule will only be rectified once more teams come on board. A Galway club are itching to get involved and there has een reported
interest from parties in Limerick, Waterford and Sligo — although the latter may be two years away still. 

ONE FOR THE FUTURE 
Orlagh Nnolan (Shamrock Rovers)
ALREADy a regular starter for the Hoops, this talented forward is on the fast track to developing into a top-quality player. If she can work on holding off defenders to make space for her team-mates, she will have a bigger influence.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

Gareth Maher_team_of_year

 

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