Across football, the way we watch the game is changing. It is no longer a case of following your local team every week and listening in every other week for the away scores or checking the ‘teletext’. It is no longer a game of turning up and seeing your team and heading home. Football matches are no more a passing of the time, but instead an all-consuming thought process of constant escalation and safety.
What was once following Cork City FC on a Sunday afternoon at Bishopstown or Turners Cross is now a glazed stare across the underage brackets. Seeing players progress and knowing that Cork City FC are maintaining the success down through the ranks and any silverware is never a once off but another step in City’s rise to prominence. A united vision for success is realised and everyone pulls in the same direction.
This is the same trend growing across women’s football. Stepping across channel and into the FA Women’s Super League, the successes of Arsenal Women’s such as the 2004/05 league and cup double helped gather the momentum across the Arsenal brand which fuelled into their male counterparts’ unbeaten season. In 2015, Chelsea’s vision of dominance in the English game came into full fruition when the Chelsea Women’s double season ended a near perfect year for the Blues as the club drove on to capture the Capital One Cup, the Premier League title, the UEFA Youth League and the FA Youth Cup. Just last summer the semi-final appearance of England’s women national team in the World Cup, fuelled re-emergence of faith in the national side following the male counterparts shock exit from the European Championships last summer. Added momentum fuelled the under 20 Cup World Cup win just last month.
Alongside one another; both codes Cork City FC have been pushing from the onset in 2017. April 2017 saw Cork City Women’s drive out a 1-1 draw away to league champions Shelbourne, before going on to beat Kilkenny, Galway United and Wexford Youths. In the same space John Caulfield’s side maintained momentum with wins against Shamrock Rovers, Bray Wanderers and Finn Harps. Also, as the pressure mounts on Martin O’Neill to call up Seani Maguire, Cork City Women’s won bragging rights as goalkeeper Amanda Budden received the call up to the green jersey.
Football is changing. Success is changing. Barcelona’s all-conquering 2009 season raised the bar for the world. Chelsea’s 2014/15 season showed that success is not stapled to the male senior team but a united front voided of age and gender. As Caulfield closes in on the league title and Cork City Women’s charge up the table, change is coming. Not for the Rebel Army or but for football, and City are leading the way.