“A change can do you good”

Cork City could certainly benefit from that bit of advice once sung by Sheryl Crow as they set about recruiting a new first-team manager.

The departure of Paul Farrell should not cast a dark cloud over Turner’s Cross, instead it should be viewed as an opportunity to shake things up after a miserable start to the 2022 SSE Airtricity Women’s National League season.

Farrell deserves kudos for the hard work that he gave to the role, but there is no time to stand around with crucial games on the agenda. A swift appointment is required to give the team a jolt, although it needs to be the right appointment.

The club’s Board will no doubt consider many worthy candidates to take charge of the team and one of those who could be in the frame is Stuart Ashton. The UEFA Pro Licence holder is known throughout the Rebel County as being a dilligent coach who helps players to improve.

It is not clear whether Ashton would even want the job, but offering him the chance to build something special with the 2015 FAI Women’s Cup winners could be tempting. Certainly a quick scan at the players in their squad would make most people ask: ‘why haven’t they been doing better?”. There is enough talent there to turn things around this season and then build again for 2023.

If Ashton were interested in the vacancy, then he should consider the best personnel to make up his backroom team. Katie McCarthy should be top of that list. A veteran player who is now transitioning into coaching, McCarthy was recently involved with the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-15s and the UEFA B Licence holder is considered by many to be a rising star in the world of coaching.

Other possible recruits could include Ramona Keogh, Barbara O’Connell and Mary Kelly. All three would bring a fresh approach that would surely be welcomed by the players who may need a new voice in the dressing room. That is not a criticism of Farrell, or Ronán McCarthy before him, but a new coaching staff can reinvigorate a team.

It should not be overlooked that Cork have suffered some bad injuries over the last two seasons and lost many key players. But sitting second from bottom in the table is not where they belong, if one considers the experience and talent within their squad.

The only way should be up for The Leesiders. They just need the right manager to get them back on track again.