Katie McCarthy: "Playing in the Aviva is something you dream about"

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All roads lead to the capital for Cork City Women’s FC, as the Rebel Army gear up for a chance to claim their first piece of silverware when they take on UCD Waves. Yet, despite still being in their early years, City Women come armed with a squad proven and tested on the domestic and international stage.

 

For Katie McCarthy, Sunday’s decider is yet another chapter in an already glistening portfolio. Having bagged silverware at Wexford Youths, the 27-year-old UCC student is ecstatic heading to Lansdowne with her hometown club.

 

“I've been looking forward to it since the semi-finals. It is the biggest game the club has had in its history. In the run up, since the semi-finals, it's been full steam ahead. Everyone has had their head down training hard.

 

“The intensity has picked up more so in the squad. Competition for places is greater than it has been all year and that's intensified heading into the Cup Final. I suppose we're all just anxious now and want to get the game started.

 

“The mood in the dressing room is very positive. Our form had picked up week on week, so we're very confident going into Sunday's game.”

 

Daydreaming ahead, Katie’s face alights with the thoughts of the Aviva. Yet, she quickly grounds herself with the task at hand.

 

“Playing in the Aviva is something you dream about. We're trying to keep a level head. It's going to be an amazing experience to get to play there but it is just another game so we're keeping a level with that, but being able to play in the Aviva is definitely something special.”

 

Between Soairse Noonan; the 2016 FAI Under-16 Player of the Year, as well as Irish International Amanda Budden, City come in with a balance of youth and experience, a fact which Katie hopes will add to the Leesider’s cutting edge.

 

“We've a good mixture of youth players and senior players with experience. The squad we have is very together and is pretty much a close group and that adds to what is great about this squad really. Having that mix of youth and experience in the squad is definitely something positive that we are going to bring.”

 

On a whole the momentum is the Cork way. City come in on the back of the men’s 2017 SSE Airtricty League title win, as well as the Under-17’s league triumph over Bohemians last Monday. The momentum across Leeside is something Katie definitely feels will bolster the Women.

 

“Last Friday when the men got the trophy at Turner’s Cross we got the trophy ourselves and we were out at half time. The support at the moment is fantastic. "Everyone is coming up early to get to our game. There's been a big push like with the Under 17's who won their league last week on penalties. "There's a big support and everything is coming together at the right time.”