‘MONAGHAN WILL BE BACK, BETTER AND STRONGER’ – MCGONIGLE

30 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan ladies senior football boss Greg McGonigle has expressed the hope that none of this year’s Ulster title-winning squad will contemplate hanging up their boots in the wake of last Sunday’s all-Ireland final disappointment.by KEVIN CARNEY
McGonigle believes the current squad will show the character and ambition to rebound from their 0-11 to 2-7 defeat to Cork and be a different proposition the next time they get to within 60 minutes of claiming the holy grail.
The Derry native and his assistants Peter Clarke and John Downey hope to join with members of the Monaghan Ladies County Board in meeting the outgoing senior panel for an informal meeting in the next couple of weeks to review the past year.
“I know Donaghmoyne, Inniskeen and Monaghan Harps are all engaged in the Ulster club championship this weekend so maybe in the next 12 days or so, we can all get together and talk things through about the past year and assess what went right and what went wrong.
“Everyone needs to put their cards on the table ’cause irrespective of whether we as a management team stay on, a plan needs to be put in place for next year as soon as possible.
“The girls and ourselves will take a break for a wee while and hopefully they’ll make no rash decisions about retiring or giving it a break for any length of time.
“Travelling from Belfast three times a week has been tough enough (for me) but the players put in a really savage effort.
“They have to decide on their plans for next year while taking into account what else is going on in their lives in terms of work, college, boyfriends etc.”
Taking the view that the Monaghan seniors under his watch win as a team and lose as a team, the team-manager said the players and the think-tank “need to look at ourselves, collectively, rather than individually, in examining what went wrong last Sunday because the defeat was more than just about two isolated incidences when mistakes were made and Cork punished us.”
“All of the girls who played last Sunday did so with a heart and a half and didn’t mean to make mistakes – all of them went out to do their best.
“While the goals we conceded were the result of mistakes, we engineered two goal chances of our own in the first half but didn’t take them so had we taken them, they would have cancelled out their two goals.
“Our defence was outstanding but overall, we weren’t as clinical as we should have been in the last third of the field but that wasn’t because of any lack of effort and had more to do with the fact that Cork’s defenders, like ours, were in top form on the day.”
Asked to further dissect last Sunday’s final, McGonigle reckoned that the signs were there from early on that the game would go right to the wire.
He had every faith in his own players’ fitness levels and never doubted their will-to-win or team spirit but rued the fact that after getting to within a point of the Rebelettes five minutes from time, the Oriel county coughed up “a couple of easy points.”
McGonigle credited the Cork think-tank for the changes in personnel made by them over the course of the game but insisted his own management team did all they could to help get the Ulster champions over the line.
“We made changes. Some of them that you make work and some don’t. Cork made changes too and some of their subs did a great job.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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