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Some people may have said that it was a flip of a coin as to who was ready to take over as Cork City's new No 1 for the 2021 season: Abby McCarthy or Leah Hayes Cohen.

Both are supremely talented goalkeepers and manager Ronán Collins had the difficult task of selecting who to start the campaign with. In the end he chose McCarthy and already she is showing just why she got the nod.

Stepping up to replace Maria O'Sullivan, who was not only the main keeper last term but also the team captain, should be a daunting task for McCarthy. However, any nerves have not been easy to spot as she has performed exceptionally in the games against Galway WFC and Shelbourne.

Sceptics might scratch their head about that one and point out that she has already conceded six goals in two League games. But anyone who watched the two games can attest to the crucial saves that she made to ensure both scorelines did not get too crazy.

On top of the shot-saving agility, there is the presence that she is starting to form. She needs to build up more confidence and remind herself that she is No 1 for a top team in the top tier of women's football in the Republic of Ireland. Once that sinks in then she can become comfortable in her own skin and just play.

Quick off her line, accurate with her kicking and assured with her handling, McCarthy ticks all of the right boxes to what is required to succeed at this level. She can look to past Cork keepers like O'Sullivan, Trish Fennelly-Hunt and Amanda Budden for inspiration or she can simply look in the mirror and remind herself of her own ability.

There are many games still to come and a lot of learning to do along the way, but already McCarthy is showing that she can excel in this League and be a big player for Cork.