Colm Smith, manager of the London ladies football team that get their championship challenge underway this Sunday, has spoken of the “awe” he feels for his dedicated squad and the great progress that has been made with ladies football in the capital which he says is “thriving”.
London’s ladies entertain Wexford in their Leinster Intermediate quarter-final at Ruislip on Sunday.
Colm told The Irish World: “Preparations have been going well, the standard has been getting better at every training session.
“The club championship is very competitive in London which is a great thing so that feeds into our training which is brilliant.
“It’s a massive weekend, especially the fact that it’s our first championship game, it would be great to get people out to get behind the ladies because ladies’ football over here is thriving and it would be great to get some support for London. It will be brilliant. It’s definitely one to look forward to.
“The standard of ladies football in London is rising.”
Hannah Noonan has been a star for London and Parnells in recent years but since her move to Dublin, there is room for someone else to step up: “That’s a big challenge for the ladies, to actually make that step up this year without those key players, now they all have to step up and up their game as much as possible and to look at their application in training, they have been doing. One thing I can’t fault this year is effort, definitely not.”
While the panel was dominated by Parnells before, there are many other clubs like Kingdom Kerry Gaels, Fulham Irish, Tir Chonaill Gaels and Fr Murphy’s all represented. Colm even mentions a player from St Anthony’s who comes from Reading to London for training: “Sometimes I’m kind of in awe of it because as a player myself, I don’t know if I could even put in half the effort these ladies give. You have to stand back sometimes and admire them. I have to take my hat off to them on their commitment.”
Colm is also involved with London’s men as a coach: “It’s a big weekend for me, it’s my home county (Cavan) coming over. It’s a busy weekend all round. If we come out with two results, I’ll be delighted.”
London Ladies take on Wexford in their Leinster LGFA IFC Quarter-final at 1pm at Ruislip on Sunday June 21.