Getting a result against any Dublin team on their home turf is an arduous task, and Jackson Park is no different, Kilkenny United WFC departing the game with a 5-0 defeat.
Kilkenny United showed in week one of the WNL that they had the potential to compete, keeping Peamount United at bay for the odds of 60 minutes. While the final scoreline of 4-1 to the Dublin side that time was a bitter pill to swallow, Kilkenny manager Kevin McLaughlin knew that some strong positives had been exhibited by his side in their opening game.
Yesterday afternoon however, against UCD Waves, those positives were not apparent for a large portion of the game. McLaughlin was visibly regretful in his post-match analysis.
“I’m disappointed today. I think for 20 minutes we showed positive signs. While against Peamount, we were probably dominant for the first 55, 60 minutes of the game, where we certainly at least controlled ourselves defensively, I didn’t really see that today. What we have been working on the last 3 or 4 weeks, we didn’t really apply."
McLaughlin is a new manager, literally just in the role a few weeks. Getting to know a team takes time, and manager and team are still very much in preparation stage. He has been trying to fast track his ethos on how he wants them to play, along with getting to know the girls and of course improving fitness. Speaking on Kilkenny’s dip at half time, McLaughlin acknowledged this latter point:
“I think fitness is definitely an issue. Which showed against Peamount before. It’s a mentality thing as well; the girls just aren’t really used to winning yet. I’m only in the door. We did some fitness work, but trying also to try to get the tactical side of the game right. We’re still catching up.”
McLaughlin knows they need to catch up fast, and is honest about his ambitions for the season, seeking to build on Noel Kealy’s work last year.
“We definitely have specific targets. We keep talking about potential; we need to start fulfilling that. Trying to get the girls to work as a team, structurally, is huge. To be honest, I’d like to see Kilkenny competing in every game. I’m not saying we’re going to pull up trees, but I do want to see Kilkenny competing. We showed last week that we could for about 60 minutes, whereas today we did for 20 minutes and that just wasn’t enough."