Aine back in the Pea pod

by Stephen Findlater

PEAMOUNT United striker Aine O’Gorman is looking forward to facing her former club UCD Waves on the opening day of the Women’s National League season on Sunday.

Having missed out on her side’s FAI Cup final defeat to Cork City in November with an injury sustained on international duty, O’Gorman made the difficult decision to leave the Students.

Returning to Peamount, with whom she made her Women’s National League bow in 2011, the 28-year-old is excited about the challenge that lays before her.

The Peas missed out on a third league title last year by the slimmest of margins, losing out in a winner-takes-all tie against Wexford Youths on the final day.

And the experienced Ireland international believes the addition of herself and fellow new arrival Karen Duggan could give James O’Callaghan’s side the edge in 2018.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” O’Gorman told the Dublin Gazette of her immediate return to the Students’ Jackson Park home.

“Everyone is looking forward to the first game of the season with loads of energy and is really excited. It doesn’t really matter who you come up against, but it probably is a coincidence.”

O’Gorman returned on Tuesday from a nine-day training camp in Fota Island with Colin Bell’s interntional side – one of five Peas players, including Duggan, in the group.

And, while the time away from the squad was not ideal, O’Gorman feels the experience can only benefit her at both club and international level as the season gets underway.

“I think it’s important we get as many training sessions together as we can, especially with crucial games coming up in April. I think it was really productive.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season [with Peamount]. We’ve been sharpening up week by week for the season ahead.

“Everyone’s been putting the effort into training, been working really hard, and we’re all really looking forward to the season starting on Sunday.

“I think there’s a really good mix of young players from last year, who worked really hard for each other and there was a good team spirit, with more experienced players like myself and Karen.”

After UCD, Peamount face another Dublin derby with Shelbourne in week two, before meeting up with the international squad for make-or-break World Cup qualifiers with Slovakia and the Netherlands in Tallaght.

It will be of particular significance to the Wicklow native, who missed the away win in Slovakia and draw in Amsterdam owing to a ligament injury picked up in the win over Northern Ireland.

“I think being out injured makes you mentally strong and gives you that added hunger and you’re really looking forward to getting back in.”

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