Kilkenny United welcome Wexford Youths to the Watershed for their Continental Women’s National League game on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 2pm).
Kilkenny United will be hoping it’s third time lucky as they look to register their first points of the 2017 season. A 4-1 home defeat to Peamount United on the opening weekend of the season was followed by a 5-0 away loss to UCD Waves.
Talking to the official FAI website after their defeat to Waves, Kilkenny manager Kevin McLaughlin was disappointed with the manner of the defeat.
“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."
Now in their third season in the WNL, McLaughlin is hoping his side becomes competitive in every league fixture and keep building on the potential in his side.
“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.”
Whilst Peamount United, Shelbourne Ladies and UCD Waves have all completed three WNL fixtures, Wexford Youths are facing into their second. The Youths made a perfect start to their league campaign with a 2-0 win over Galway WFC on the 25th March but haven’t played since.
Manager Laura Heffernan was keen to ensure there will be no slip-ups against their nearest opposition.
"Having played one game in five weeks the aim has been on keeping the girls focused. Kilkenny will be a tough test, they have a number of new signings and are improving every game.
The concern for us is match sharpness, so it will be a good game for us to gauge where the players are individually and what we need to focus on in the coming weeks."
Kylie Murphy has returned to full fitness, while there are still fitness doubts over midfielder Emma Hansberry. Tamara Furlong, Aisling Frawley and Lauren Dwyer are unavailable, while Ciara Rossiter, Rianna Jarrett and Edel Kennedy all remain long-term injury absences.
Wexford Youths played Kilkenny United twice in the league last season scoring 13 without conceding (7-0 and 0-6)
Kilkenny United are still in search of their first league win in the Women’s National League.
Kilkenny United 1 - 4 Wexford Youths
Injured: Ciara Rossiter, Rianna Jarrett and Edel Kennedy
Unavailable: Tamara Furlong, Aisling Frawley and Lauren Dwyer
Doubtful: Emma Hansberry