Slattery is not getting carried away with start to the season


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Slattery is not getting carried away with start to the season Slattery is not getting carried away with start to the season

By Kevin Egan

As players, league officials and media people milled around Athlone Town stadium last Thursday as part of TG4’s launch of their live coverage of the LOI Women’s Premier Division, eight players from eight different clubs all shot the breeze about their thoughts on the league so far.

There were several comments along similar lines, but Athlone Town’s Jesi Rossman was the most succinct, saying “I think there’s a bunch of crazy results going on. Anyone can grab the league, there’s a lot of teams in the mix”.

The Midlanders are at the top of a group of six teams, placed from second to seventh, that are separated by just three points after the fourth round of games at the weekend. However, they are five points adrift of Galway United, who extended their 100% record with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Bohemians at Eamon Deacy Park.

Would players from around the country have said it’s still wide open, or that there are crazy results going on, if it was Peamount, or Shels, or even Shamrock Rovers that had 12 points from four games, and a +12 scoring difference?

We can only speculate, but for United midfielder Jenna Slattery, there’s no doubt that whatever the country as a whole thinks about their prospects, within the playing group, they fully believe that they are right in the mix in 2024, albeit with only 20% of the season behind them.

“Yeah, 100% we’re contenders. We’ve had a positive start in the first four games of the league and it’s been good but it’s only onwards from here. It’s a long, long league so we just have to keep building on these good performances week-on-week and hopefully we stay positive and get the results we want,” said the Limerick native.

“We came in at the start and we had high ambitions. Everyone will have their doubts – that’s just the way soccer is – but for us as a team and a group, we set high ambitions, and that includes winning this league.

“We want to go and win everything, and we wouldn’t have set those ambitions if we didn’t think they were achievable. We have a young squad ,but the likes of Lynsey [McKey] and Julie-Ann [Russell] have the experience in the league and I think that really helps us. They’re always so positive and that always helps us week on week,” she said.

Slattery might be of a different generation, but her style of play is such that she has become a natural leader on the pitch anyway. She wasn’t on the scoresheet in the handy win over Bohemians, but she has five goals in four games, including a crucial match-winning penalty in the 89th minute of their trip to the Showgrounds to take on Sligo Rovers.

Pictured: Jenna Slattery of Galway United pictured at the TG4 launch of its live games for 2024 Women’s Premier Division at Athlone Town Stadium. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile.

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