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DaveHooper

It take’s time! Does that sound a bit like repetition?

 
That’s a re-occurring theme of this column I have no doubt about that and one which I want to return to.
 
While I have preached the improvements in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League, the first Wednesday in October really brought that home to me.
 
I made the trip to Tolka Park that mild evening, it was tinged with a strange type of sadness. Shelbourne FC having announced the previous day that they would be leaving the famous North Dublin venue.
 
While that venture between Shelbourne, Bohemians FC and Dublin City council into the new Dalymount Park was expected it still held a degree of sadness for a north Dublin football man.
 
Less than five minutes into the game my feelings on the beginning of the end for the ground disappeared as I watched Cork City WFC really take the game to Shelbourne Ladies.
 
From my vantage point in the press box Shels appeared to attempt to seal the victory early on with an offensive line up.
 
While that was not an unbeknown tactic from a home side it was something which allowed Cork City build their own game in Tolka Park.
 
Particularly impressive was Danielle Sheehy deployed as an old style outside left, attacking the Shelbourne defence, Sheehy was influential in those opening plays.
 
Leanne Kiernan gave the hosts a ninth minute lead this however did not stall the City attacking gears, and a Saoirse Noonan wonder strike just seven minutes later, levelled things up.
 
I should not and was not surprised with the city resilience, what surprised me however, was the evolution of the Cork side’s playing style.
 
When I last saw Frank Kelleher’s team, they were resilient, never giving up and working toward developing into a team which could challenge in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League.
 
That Wednesday evening in Tolka there was an evolution in the play of Cork City, they played with speed and control. Every opportunity attacking the Shels defence.
 
Valerie Mulcahy was unavailable though the central spine of Evelyn Daly, Ciara Desmond and Megan Kelleher was just as competitive as the Shels midfield.
 
It was an end to end game and City for so long a defensive team were more than able to attack with pace and guile. Noonan’s goal a strike from nowhere.
 
I really should not have been surprised, City had caused Wexford problems earlier that week. The performance in Dublin was showing things are moving in the right direction.
 
The WNL for so long a two horse race. All that changed when Wexford Youths WFC challenged then won the championship. Galway WFC showed their development last year.
 
Peamount United showed youthful inexperience last season, fighting for every ball.
 
While Cork City eventually lost 4-1 to Shelbourne Ladies, the game was tied 1-1 at half time. The match reminded me of Peamount United v UCD Waves last season.
 
Peamount impressed me that night, they had UCD rattled and twice led before eventually losing 5-3 it was the development of the Peas game which showed the way.
 
That development comes from training and working and repetition.
 
Repetition, repetition, repetition again and again. I’m quoting Bill Shankly on that one. The legendary Liverpool manager’s constant instruction to his coaching staff.
 
Repetition and time, is a constant of this column. While I’m not trying to repeat myself, Shankly spoke of how important to development repetition is.
 
Repetition and time is what this league needs, suddenly the gap between the seven teams is showing huge reduction.