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Monaghan ladies have learnt lessons

LADIES FOOTBALL TG4 ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP TWO

TG4 SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP 2

MONAGHAN V WATERFORD

Saturday, Cremartin, 3pm

IT’S all about recovery and bouncing back for Niall Treanor and Monaghan as they embark on their Senior Championship Group Two campaign against Waterford this Saturday at Cremartin.

On the back of a swift exit from the Ulster Championship thanks to Armagh, Treanor’s small squad have taken positives from that outing at the Athletic Grounds.

“We had belief in ourselves. We still do. Nobody outside our camp gave us a chance against Armagh and while we were beaten if we had have had some luck on the day it could have been a different result. We can’t fault the girls. We – and they – have learnt a lot from that game.” said Treanor, who has had a difficult time since taking the Farney reins.

A handful of household names opted out of the squad at the start of the year and in reality it has been a season of realignment for them and despite working with limited numbers the manager remains positive.

“There’s a big spread of players from throughout the county now. Yes we have a small squad but as I said the girls we do have are working hard. We have been trying to prepare the girls the best we can with the focus on the next game and that’s Waterford.

“We are totally focused on that game and we really do have belief in ourselves.”

Waterford will aim to bounce straight back into contention in this highly competitive group on the back of a 5-15 to 2-6 loss to Dublin.

No disgrace in that result but Ciaran Curran’s side couldn’t handle the power and pace of Niamh McEvoy who bagged a handsome 2-4 and was instrumental in setting up much of the Dubs’ tally over the hour – and that was a Dublin minus Sinead Aherne.

McEvoy was the pick of the attack, Nicole Owens and Lyndsay Davey also got in on the act. Treanor knows his side too have the quality to unlock a far from watertight Déise defence,

The Monaghan attack, spearheaded by Rosemary Courtney, Ciara McAnespie and veteran Cora Courtney, are all capable of unlocking the best of defences and there could well then be opportunities on Saturday at Cremartin.

“We may have lost players but still have a good squad. The McAnespies and Courtneys, among others, are very experienced and they will play a big part for us.

“We have players coming through the youth teams within the county, there’s success in these teams too,” said the Monaghan boss, but he cautioned added “We have to be patient.”

Treanor, who previously guided the fortunes of the Farney senior hurlers before taking over from Anne Marie Burns at the start of the year, is well aware what’s required.

“We are rebuilding, there’s no getting away from that. We are a team in transition for sure. It will be a case of getting the best out of this group of players going forward and adding to the squad . That said, we have confidence in this camp.”

Treanor and Monaghan have injury issues to deal with ahead of the group series. Muirean Atkinson is still recovering from a knee operation and while she will miss this game, a massive match against All-Ireland champions Dublin remains her target for a return. There’s also a few bumps and scrapes.

“It’s frustrating,” Treanor said. “As I said we have a small squad and we can ill afford to have players unavailable but on our day and with a bit of luck we can get something out of this game with Waterford. That remains our target and we will look to the next game after this one.”

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