Athlone Town start life in the Women’s National Leaguea against Wexford Youths without the quartet of Emma Donohoe, Jessica Hennessy, Ciara McManus and Chloe McNamee.
“All of the preparation is done now so everyone is excited to get started and see the level that we need to get to” explained Athlone Town manager Tommy Hewitt.
“Obviously Wexford will be a tough first challenge but we expect every game to be tough” added Hewitt.
“I’ll be asking the players to focus on putting on a good performance and keep working hard no matter how the game is going” Hewitt added.
“It might be a cliche but it’s important that they enjoy themselves because this type of experience doesn’t come around too often.”
“It’s been eight months since we first got together, albeit with a big break in the middle, but we are excited to get going now. We know that Wexford will be a really good team but we just have to focus on our own performance.”
Forward Sinead Taylor remains unavailable for Wexford, while both Trina Duggan and Aoife Slattery are out injured.
“Athlone have nothing to lose” explained Wexford Youths manager Tom Elmes.
“I’m sure they are going to be well-organised, they are going to be hungry, and they are going to want to go out and do something in their first game. So we have to be ready for that.”
“We’ve always been a team that was tough to beat, tough to break down, and we maybe snatched a goal or two, usually through Rianna Jarrett. So a big focus for us this season is that we have to be more productive on the ball, have more players showing up in creating & scoring goals, and matching that tough to break down spirit with being better in front of goal.”
“We got off to a great start and it’s a credit to the players for that. Now we have to maintain that balance of keeping our identity but bringing more goals to our game. We will have to work hard in each game to achieve that.”
Athlone Town v Wexford Youths
Saturday, August 15
Athlone Town Stadium
Referee: John McLoughlin