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So that’s it then, just shy of nine months and all the silverware, medals and awards have been presented.
 
Wexford Youths WFC have claimed a treble, Shelbourne Ladies lifted the WNL Cup plus some silver medals and we lost a team.
 
We really have had everything this past season: bad weather, floodlight issues, travel issues, waterlogged pitches, managerial changes, even a Play-Off game. It’s been eventful. And that, I would say, is the best word to describe the 2015/16 Continental Tyres Women’s National League season.
 
There are many positives and for this section I harp back to my first column for this website. I have been covering this League since the beginning. Initially with the first and, so far only, radio station to cover games in this League live.
 
What has been evident to my journalistic senses is the pick-up of interest by local media outlets in the last season. In fact, I forsee more local newspapers and local radio stations giving more and more coverage to this League. This may be a small but very worthy a step in the right direction.
 
These things takes time and I have no doubt you enjoyed the coverage of the Play-Off game between Shelbourne and Wexford on RTE’s Soccer Republic. Slow but deserving steps.
 
On the Wednesday prior to that thrilling final game, I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Continental Tyres WNL Awards at the Marker Hotel, where congratulations were reserved to Karen Duggan and Roma McLaughlin on their individual gongs.
 
Also, to the players who made the Team of the Year. It is a very deserving honour to receive via the votes of players you meet week in, week out. But while the player’s awards are certainly a highlight of the season, like all good soccer traditions, the football writers must also have their say.
 
So here is my Team of the Year, playing 4-4-2 in the traditional sense. And just to add fuel to the fire, I decided on this list before the Play-Off game.
 
Amanda McQuilian (Shelbourne Ladies)
 
Keeva Keenan (Shelbourne Ladies), Ruth Fahy (Wexford Youths), Pearl Slattery (Shelbourne Ladies), Nicola Sinnott (Wexford)
 
Siobhan Killeen (Shelbourne Ladies), Kylie Murphy (Wexford Youths), Elle Rose O'Flaherty (Galway WFC), Julie-Ann Russell (UCD Waves)
 
Claire O'Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves)
 
There are a few notable omissions, especially Roma McLaughlin, Niamh Prior, Karen Duggan, Meabh De Burca, Leanne Kiernan and Tina Hughes. That is the trick of being a manager, only 11 can make it.
 
For the Player of the Year, I believe that winning is something you never get tired of and lifting three trophies needs a high level of consistency and leadership. It’s not just consistency that makes the Wexford engine room beat, due to an influential and intelligent footballer and great captain. 
 
That is why I am happy to name Kylie Murphy as my Player of the Year.
 
Just before I sign off for the summer months, incidentally due to be my last summer holiday for WNL football. I would ask you to spare a few thoughts for the victims of the Carrickmines fire last October.
 
My first planned fixture of the 2015/16 League season was UCD Waves v Wexford Youths in Jackson Park on Sunday October 11. The game was correctly postponed due to the location of the venue and the incident. Throughout the cancellations and re-fixtures of the season, I always thought for those poor souls. RIP.
 
Otherwise I hope to see you again on August 7 as we move towards summer football.

 

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