'I need to be patient and make the most of my chances when I get them'

April 16th, 2023 10:10 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Niamh Cotter is making an impression at Cork City Women's FC.

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NIAMH Cotter passed up a school trip to Rome to make her full senior debut for Cork City Women’s FC.

The 16-year-old Bandon soccer star had been planning an Italian adventure with her transition year group at Coláiste na Toirbhirte, but there was a twist in the tale.

When Niamh discovered she was in line to start against Treaty United in a LOI Women's Premier Division derby on March 29th, there was only ever going to be one decision.

‘Making my debut for City was more important to me than going on the trip,’ she says.

‘I found out in the lead up to the game that I had a chance of playing so I spoke with our manager because if I knew I had the chance to play I’d skip the trip.’

City boss Danny Murphy told Niamh she was in line to make her debut so Rome was parked to one side and her full focus was on an important moment in her football story.

She has risen through the ranks at Cork City Women’s FC since she signed for the club’s U17s in September 2021. Since then Niamh has lined out for the U17s, the U19s and now City’s seniors – and all this before she turns 17 years old this summer.  The Bandon teen, who starred at underage level for her local GAA club, decided to concentrate fully on soccer in 2022, and it’s paying off. 

She was an ever-present for the U17s last season, as a defensive midfielder. Niamh also played 23 times for the U19s in 2022, as a number six and a centre back, and was named the U19s most improved player. 


She was also drafted into the City senior women’s panel at the end of last season, and her progress continued into this campaign, highlighted by her first senior start in the 1-1 draw against Treaty United.

‘I thought I did well, I was confident on the ball coming out, I didn’t panic on the ball and didn’t feel nervous,’ Niamh says. ‘I was training with the senior squad for all the pre-season and I felt I was ready to take the next step. After the games in pre-season I knew that I could play at that level, and that I wasn’t going to be out of my depth.’

Niamh’s plan now is to play as many minutes as she can with the senior team, and she feels she has shown the manager that she can play at the top level and can be trusted.

‘I want to push on and I want to become a regular,’ the rising City star explains.

‘I know this is my first season with the seniors so I need to be patient and make the most of my chances when I get them. When I get the chance I need to take it.’

Niamh is still learning her new position at centre back. She has played a lot as a holding midfielder, and in her football and camogie days with Bandon and Newcestown she enjoyed playing centre back, having been prolific in attack too. 

That GAA background is standing to her as she enjoys the physical side of all those sports.

‘I like defending,’ she says.

‘Even when I played as a six I was the one who wanted to defend.

‘I played six all last season, and had played centre back a few times. I went to an Ireland trial and the manager there said he saw me as a centre back, and Danny Murphy (Cork City manager) said he also saw me as a centre back. 

‘I played a few games there towards the end of last season and I like the position to be fair. I have settled well into it but I have loads to learn. I am learning as I play.’

The hope is Niamh, who still plays with City’s U19s, will get more opportunities this season to continue her development with the City senior team. 

Having skipped the school trip to Rome, Niamh has shown she’s going places in the football world.

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