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Niamh Cotter is taking her big chance with Cork City

May 18th, 2024 11:45 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Niamh Cotter is taking her big chance with Cork City Image
Niamh Cotter is making her mark with Cork City FC Women's team this season.

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NIAMH Cotter certainly grabbed her chance with Cork City FC Women’s senior team.

Rewind to March 2023 and the Bandon teen made her full debut. Just over one year later, she has become a rock in the City defence. 

The 17-year-old has already racked up 26 appearances for Cork City, including 21 starts as this talented centre back continues to turn heads – she was named City’s Player of the Month for March and has also been selected on the League of Ireland’s Women’s Premier Division Team of the Week TWICE in the opening seven rounds, including the latest round after starring in City’s 2-1 win against Shamrock Rovers.

‘I didn’t think going into the season that I would be getting player of the week and on the team of the month so soon,’ Cotter admits.

‘It’s such an honour to be playing for City in the first place so to get those accolades on top of it is a nice boost.

‘The team has improved so much and there are so many more City players getting on team of the week, and that didn’t happen last season.’

High-flying City, now in fifth place, are a transformed team in this campaign. After seven games this season Danny Murphy’s team has already picked up more points (10) than they collected in their entire 20-game 2023 campaign (6). They also have more clean sheets (2) than last season too (1), and only one third of the season is played.

Step forward, Cotter, a defender who enjoys the art of defending, and also the only ever-present outfield player to line out in all games this season.

‘I have played a couple of games at six, but I feel way more comfortable at centre back; I love defending and making tackles. The aggressiveness and physicality is something I really like,’ the Coláiste na Toirbhirte fifth-year student says.

‘I like facing the play and being able to see the whole pitch. The aggressiveness and physicality is something I really like as well.’

That Cotter has found her feet so quickly at League of Ireland level is a testament to her temperament and talent, but also to the City set-up; she takes confidence from the trust being shown in her. 

‘I feel way more comfortable this season,’ she says, having made 17 appearances for City last term. 

‘There is a great team environment and atmosphere, and that just makes you feel so comfortable. When you are playing every week it’s so much easier to be comfortable and confident on the ball because your confidence is high.’

If Cotter keeps up this form it’s only a matter of time before the Republic of Ireland U19s come knocking again, and she knows if she keeps impressing with City, the rest will take care of itself. 

‘I’m still a year young for the U19s so I am hoping next year I will be involved in trials,’ adds Cotter, who turns 18 in July.

Her immediate goal is to keep her place in the City team, keep more clean-sheets, push them towards a higher league finish than last season and also to score her first senior goal.

‘I’ve never scored a senior goal so that’s something I want,’ she says, and that would be another milestone in this promising career that is trending upwards.

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