This year’s Allianz League could be of the utmost importance to Dessie Farell as the new Dublin manager looks to get his tenure off to a good start, according to Clionadh O’Connor.
The former Dublin ladies captain was speaking to Off The Ball and said that a successful league campaign for the Dubs could be crucial to building Farrell’s confidence.
“It depends on whether you’re talking about what does Dessie need or what do the players need. There’s a bit of ego involved. If you’ve just taken over a team you want a successful league campaign so you’re not getting criticised.
“So as I said there, they didn’t have a great league last year and they still went on to win five in a row. So the players don’t need confidence in their ability.
“But does Dessie and his background team [need it?] That’s the danger. If he feels things don’t go wonderful then people think, ‘Oh, I’m not fit for the job.’
“So I don’t think the players need anything really other than just to allow them to continue doing what they’re doing. He doesn’t need to make any massive changes.
“He just needs to keep the successful structure going and keep allowing players to do what they’re doing,” O’Connor said.
Farrell is not the only new manager in this year’s competition, with Galway’s Padraic Joyce taking the reins at his county for a first league campaign.
“I suppose what it signals as well, a league like this, and you’re talking about Galway - it’s a signal of intent really isn’t it? What’s Padraic Joyce going to do with Galway? Is he going to go, ‘We need that momentum. We need that,’ for his players.
“He’s a new manager and Dessie Farrell is a new manager. So are they going to take the same approach or are they going to take a different approach?
“That’s what I find interesting about the league. How is a manager going to approach it from preparation or psychological point of view? What does it mean to his team?
“It depends on the mentality of your squad and the maturity of your squad. Because there’s a danger in saying, ‘You know what lads? The league doesn’t matter and we’re going to build up nicely through it and we’ll get our bit of work done.’
“But there’s a danger then in do you lose that competitive edge?” O’Connor commented.
Division 1 of the Allianz League gets underway on Saturday with Dublin taking on Kerry and Donegal taking on Mayo before Tyrone face Meath and Galway play Monaghan on Sunday.