Sion Swifts Ladies get ready for biggest ever game

Thursday, 7 September 2017

SION Swifts Ladies are 24 hours away from the biggest game in the club's history as they take on Newry City Ladies in the Women's Challenge Cup final at Windsor Park tomorrow night.

The club have experienced a whirlwind last few weeks, first defeating Crusaders in the Cup semi-final in a thrilling penalty shoot-out, before dramatically beating Newry themselves 4-3. Then Swifts finished their League Campaign tonight with a victory over Ballymena to secure a fantastic second place finish in the league, their highest ever finish, and achieving their highest points total and goals tally in the process.

"The win over Ballymena was about three points and a clean bill of health, and it also secured us second place, said team coach Tony McGinley. So it is a fantastic achievement. All those things are pointing in the next direction.

Newry looked like favourites to win the Premier League title for most of the season, but recent defeats to both Sion and Linfield saw them being pipped to second and first place respectively.

They'll be hurting and doubly determined to go out on a high, says McGinley.

Two weeks ago we won in the Cup semi-final and beat Newry in their own back yard, so it gives us a bit of belief going into the match.

The league game could have went either way to be honest. They missed a lot of chances, we scored four superb goals. On another day the result could have been very different so we are under no doubt the threat that they pose.

We know what they're about, and have had a draw and a win against this year, so hopefully we can go undefeated head to head.

Although we look at the opposition to a certain extent, we''ll only worry about ourselves.

Swifts will be without the services of Amy Boyle-Carr, who is on duty with Ireland U17s against Bosnia. She has been a revelation for Sion this year, and is sure to be a big loss. But McGinley is confident he has the squad capabilities to fill the gap.

The squad were putting the finishing touches to their preparations last night ahead of the big game, and the manager insists that there will be no big changes in how they approach the tie.

We'll just be doing what we've been doing all year. It'll be the same thing, we'll go through our tactics. Nothing changes, everything stays the same.

McGinley expressed his disappointment however that the show-piece final in women's football is being played on a Thursday night.

There are so many things wrong with it. You have to ask the question would the show-piece final in men's football be on a Thursday evening?

We have so many junior members in our club, we could have filled two bus loads no problem. To ask these girls to go across to Belfast on a school night, and not get home at all hours of the night, I don't think they've take that into account.

This decision was made back in March, surely they could have found a Friday, Saturday or Sunday to put this game on.

These girls have gave everything all year, they should be to prepare for the biggest game of their careers without having to go to school or work that day.


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