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Striving to uncork potential

John McGrady says Cliftonville Ladies have “so much potential” to unleash as they settle into the rhythm of the new season.

Having won both of their Sports Direct Women’s Premiership outings 5-0 and booked their place in the League Cup Final, the Reds – who are also in the quarter-finals of the County Antrim Cup – return to Avenir Sports All-Island Cup duty when they travel to Cork City this afternoon.

After opening their Group B campaign with a home draw against Shelbourne, Cliftonville suffered a heavy defeat to Wexford last time out and travel to Turners Cross knowing that they must win to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages – a situation with which McGrady is more than comfortable.

“We want to win every game we play in,” he declares.

“That’s the standard set by the Club at senior level and that’s the standard set by the players within the Club. We are disappointed in any game we don’t win and have a positive outcome.”

Reflecting on his side’s start to the season, McGrady explains: “It’s been good so far but we know we are building and developing towards being the best team we can be.

“As a group, there is so much potential, so meeting the standards set will help us build and develop the group as the season goes on. We are satisfied but we know there is a lot of work to go.”

Cliftonville defeated Cork in the semi-finals of last year’s competition but both sides enter today’s contest knowing that only a win – coupled with a winner emerging from the group’s other clash between Wexford and Shelbourne – will be enough to ensure qualification.

“Cork have had a good start to the season,” adds McGrady. “They have some really good players, they play good football and will also want to win the game.

“These All-Island games have a great competitive edge to them and, with three points at stake, everybody will be up for it.”