Great pride in champs

You would have been hard pressed to find two prouder men than Davy Foley and Fran Egan on Sunday.

You would have been hard pressed to find two prouder men than Davy Foley and Fran Egan on Sunday.

The joint managers of the Kilkenny & District League’s women’s team wore mile-wide smiles after watching their side lift the Leinster title.

“We couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Foley. “It was a great result and great for Kilkenny women’s soccer. Having been involved from the start I never thought I’d see a day like this.

“It was a dream start,” he said, reliving Jenny Brennan’s third minute opener. “Going into a final, if you were asked when you wanted to score you’d say early on to unsettle the opposition. However, while we’ve scored early on before and moved on, this time we went back - it was just the occasion, the nerves.

“We thought we might make it into half-time with the 1-0 lead, but when we got into the dressing-room the team settled down,” he added.

“After that we came back out and battled in the second half. That’s what the game was - a battle - but it was a test for our squad.

“It’s all about the squad,” said Foley. “No matter what sport, if you don’t have a squad you’ve nothing. We used our bench and had to react to situations, but our game-plan was to close them down - we didn’t change from that.”

For Fran Egan, Sunday’s win saw Kilkenny deliver on a plan he gave the side before the competition even started!

“When we first got together I told the girls I had a plan mapped out which took us all the way to the final,” he smiled.

“They thought I was mad, but I told them they were good enough to win it.

“It wasn’t about us being big-headed,” he continued. “I felt they had the talent needed to go all the way. They are a great bunch of players who took on a savage battle.”

It was a game in which Kilkenny gave their all.

We gave Leinster too much respect,” he said. “We had a plan to look after their midfield but we were too concerned with that at times and didn’t play our own game.

“In the second half the players really gave everything,” he said. “Some of them were out on their feet at the final whistle, but they put Kilkenny women’s soccer on the map.”

And the hope is to keep the Cats on top for some time.

“Hopefully we can come back next year and retain the title,” he said. “This is a young team, with a good core and plenty there for the future. We can only get stronger.”