Louth Ladies Football manager Wayne Freeman
After three years at the helm of the Louth Ladies Footballers, manager Wayne Freeman has stated he will need time to reflect on whether or not he remain in the job in 2023.
The Girls in Red had a great Intermediate campaign, having defeated both Down and Clare. However their journey ended on Sunday when they were defeated by a more clinical Roscommon.
Under the Kildare native, the Wee County has reached three successive Intermediate Quarter Finals, along with both earning promotion to and successfully avoiding relegation from Division Three of the National League.
His troops were also top of Division Four in 2020 before that competition was abandoned due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, showing that he always got the best out of his players.
“I’m not sure yet,” stressed Freeman as he spoke to the assembled media following his sides seven-point loss at the hands of Roscommon. “I’ll have to talk it over with the family. We commute two hours up and back from Monasterevin three days a week which is tough.
“I’ll sit down with my family at home and do this properly, think about it properly and whatever happens it will be what is best for the girls. Maybe they need a new voice, that might spur them on, get them to a semi-final next year. Maybe they need new ideas.
“I think there is real opportunities for them to progress. This year we brought 10 new players in, a lot of which featured today, so that is progression in of itself for whoever is there next year. I’d love to see more progression and regardless I’ll be up there supporting them with my red jersey on."
When reflecting back on his side’s defeat, the 28-year-old, who was one of the youngest men to ever hold the position of a county manager when taking up the reigns in late 2019, was honest in his assessment. However, he did want to give them credit despite the bitter loss.
“We kicked a lot of wides, that probably had a big effect on the game and the goal right before half time knocked our confidence a bit. We struggled to really get to grips with their running game, we got caught behind two minds of pressing or dropping off and that saw them cut us open.
“I can’t fault their effort. I think nerves played a big effect on them today and it maybe took us a bit too long to get into the game. Once you are chasing against a defensive team like Roscommon, then you’re always going to get caught on the counterattack which we were in the second half.”
Speaking about his opponents, Freeman noted how they expected a big challenge from them. He had watched their sharpshooter Laura Fleming in the past and was not surprised to see her leading the line in Kinnegad. Her six points being a key component in the Rossies’ victory.
“Laura is very good player. You can see that in other games as well, where she was doing a lot of the scoring, getting vital goals. Today she got points at vital times, popping up on the end of a lot of the final passes.
“It is a common trend with them, that they get ahead, and they counter very well. They carry the ball, and they don’t tend to kick. Yet anything they did kick, we dealt with as our full back line was brilliant.
“As the time was going by, we were committing extra body after extra body, and then they cut us open with one or two passes. And when they got through, they took their chances well. They are a very fit team, so they carried their gameplan out right through to the end.”
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