If there were an annual award for 'Unsung Hero' in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League then Kira Bates-Crosbie wouldn't be anywhere near it. Why? Because she rarely even pops up on people's radars.

That shouldn't be the case though. Perhaps it is a highlights thing because the midfielder doesn't really dominate games in the kind of way that YouTube videos want a player to. Or maybe it's the stats as WyScout doesn't track all of the things that she does on the pitch.

Still, those who watch her closely in games can attest to just how good she has been since joining Bohemians this season. And ask her team-mates about her impact and they will share a flurry of compliments about her temperament, her range of passing and her ability to link defence with attack.

Bohemians have improved massively this year thanks to the likes of Bates-Crosbie (and also Katie Lovely) in the middle of the pitch. All opponents know that they are in for a battle - both physical and tactical - when they come up against the Dublin outfit and it is usually Bates-Crosbie at the heart of it.

It's clear that she has gained from the coaching of Sean Byrne and being trusted to play consistently in such an important area of the pitch. When she was previously at Wexford Youths, it was unfortunate timing as there were many established players in the pecking order ahead of her. But moving to Bohemians has proved to be a good decision.

Bates-Crosbie is superb with the work that she does off the ball. A slight shuffle from one side to another can block out avenues that opponents were planning to slide passes through or make darting runs into. She sweeps well in front of her backline, limiting space for creative players to operate in, and she narrows the gaps between her own defence, midfield and attack.

On the ball, she is getting better with each ball. There is no doubt that she is an excellent passer of the ball but her accuracy should probably be better for the skillset that she has. Again, this will come with games. And so too will advancing into forward positions to either create chances or take shots from distance.

Bohemians are a team who are making notable changes and adding new players to bolster their squad. But even in the middle of all that they should still have targets for this season and one of those should be to advance to the EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Final. They are into the Quarter-Finals now so two more wins will do it.

Standing in their way on that Cup Final pursuit is Sligo Rovers, who will arrive at Dalymount Park on Saturday keen to maintain their own good recent form. If Bohemians are to get through, then Bates-Crosbie could be the key player to drive them on. And the scary thing is that she's only going to get better.

EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Quarter-Final
Saturday, August 6th
Bohemians v Sligo Rovers
Dalymount Park
KO 13:00
LIVE on LOITV