Waves have a problem but a good one ahead of Aviva date
Waves are currently preparing to face Cork City WFC in Sunday’s final at the Aviva Stadium, their first final since 2014, with kick-off at 12pm.
The Dublin club go into the game on the back of a narrow 2-1 defeat to Women’s National League title-hopefuls Peamount United at Greenogue on Sunday. Despite the defeat, Kealy is happy with the mood in the camp.
“The mood is very good and they’re not getting too run away with it,” Kealy said.
“They’re all really excited of course, everyones looking forward to it and they know they’ve still got a job to do.
“There is a bit of nerves there of course but we’ve got every reason to be confident heading into the game. We’re all determined and we all want to make sure we represent ourselves fully.”
Where Waves might have the edge over Cork City is the amount of experience amongst their ranks. Player of the Year Karen Duggan is a regular in the Ireland starting XI as well as Aine O’Gorman and Chloe Mustaki played for Bordeaux last season in the French top flight.
Unfortunately, O’Gorman picked up an injury whilst on international duty but Kealy has praised her impact ahead of the game with the squad.
“Aine O’Gorman has been excellent. She’s injured at the moment and won’t be able to play but she’s been brilliant around the club, offering her guidance and advice.
“Of course, Karen is nice and calm going through it all, directing the youngsters on and off the pitch. Chloe is another player who has experienced that big game environment before and you can see that little difference in the way they’ve conducted themselves this week.”
Duggan was rested for last Sunday’s defeat following a hamstring injury sustained whilst on international duty but that handed a starting spot to Naimi Chemaou.
Chemaou took the starting opportunity with both hands as she scored one of the goals of the Women’s National League season to draw level, and Kealy admits he has a few selection dilemnas ahead of Sunday’s final.
“Naimi definitely has the talent and the technical ability to create problems for any team. I suppose I’ve got a good problem when it comes to the starting XI as we’ve got options across the park,” Kealy admitted.
“Naimi played because Karen was rested and she showed what she can do, no doubt. We haven’t decided on the final XI for the final and they’re still a couple of places up for grabs.
“We need to get the balance right so everyone is a consideration at the moment.”