After spending three seasons playing Women’s National League with Peamount United, in 2014 Aine O’Gorman made the move across the capital to join newly formed UCD Waves and Extratime.ie recently spoke to O’Gorman about switching clubs and her first season with Waves.
“The move came about when Eileen Gleeson parted ways with Peamount United and was going to be managing the newly formed UCD Waves team. Eileen is a top manager so myself along with a number of the other girls chose to make the move with her.”
Despite having helped Peamount to the WNL crown in 2011, the Ireland international had no hesitation when switching clubs as she was aware that manager Gleeson was key to Peamount’s success.
“No I had no hesitation in leaving the club obviously it was sad parting was with several old teammates who went their separate ways, but after all we had won all them trophies under Eileen's rein so it was time to move on for a new start at UCD Waves.”
With any new club, one of the first things that management must decide on is a club captain, an honour which was installed upon O’Gorman and the forward revealed despite being one of the most experienced members of their squad, other leaders in the squad were always there to lend a hand when it was needed.
“I didn’t think too much about it really I suppose we have a lot of very young players in the squad so being one of the more experienced ones, I was given the role where I just continued as I always have done on and off the pitch, we have great leaders throughout the team like Karen Duggan in midfield who make my job easier.”
Although 2014/15 season was Waves first season O’Gorman admits she still had expectations of her side to securing a second league title.
“Winning was always the number one expectation” she said, “but obviously it was important for us to develop and gel as we were a new team which at least we managed to achieve this season.”
Last November the Waves suffered a defeat in the FAI Cup final against Raheny United after a late minute goal and O’Gorman explains it was a hard defeat to accept.
“Ye losing is always tough to take, especially on such a big occasion to a late goal but that’s football, win or lose you always learn!”
Although suffering defeat in the cup final, Waves would soon show their full capabilities and record victories against Raheny United and League Champions Wexford Youths on their way to second place in the Women’s National League table, O’Gorman explains that they just peaked too late and are looking ahead to next season.
“Yeah I think we ended the season on a high and maybe peaked too late, but we know how we can play, everyone’s buzzing now and looking forward to bettering ourselves even further as a team next season.
“We have top resources in UCD and a great set up at the club to improve individually and therefore collectively so we want to be the best team in Ireland and [we are] aiming for nothing less than a place in the Champions League, FAI & League Cup.”
After finishing the 2014/15 season, O’Gorman finished top scorer and was honoured by her peers with the Women’s National League and UCD Player of the Year award, two honours she was very happy to receive.
“Ye its obviously nice to be rewarded individually especially for your parents who have stood on the sideline for years watching you run around after a ball in the freezing cold and to show the Grandparents, but I don’t take too much from it to be honest. I’d rather of been standing in the Aviva and at the end of the season with a trophy in my hand.
In the last two seasons, O’Gorman has scored 45 goals, she attributes her increased goalscoring to playing up front more often and having players who are capable of creating opportunities.
“I suppose previous season I played in several positions centre midfield and on the wing, but this season I’ve played consistently up front which has probably contributed to [me] scoring more.
“Being surrounded by good players, the likes of Julie Ann Russell who works hard up and down the wings and clever players like Calo[Caroline Thorpe] to name but a few who set up a lot of goals for me.
Despite being just 16 goals behind close friend Stephanie Roche record of 71 strikes, O’Gorman recalled that it would be nice to achieve on a personal note but at present it is not a priority.
“I suppose that would be a nice personal goal for me to set but the team winning is priority and if we win the treble, I don’t mind who scores as long as the ball goes in the net.”
In September, Ireland will begin their latest qualification campaign and O’Gorman has high ambitions that Ireland can make it to the European Championships in 2017.
“Yes, this is the best chance we have of qualifying and I think there’s great belief amongst all the girls that we can reach the 2017 European Finals in Holland. Obviously it isn’t going to be easy but a challenge myself and the rest of the girls are really looking forward to”