Kirsty McGuinness programme article

Posted : 13th October 2018

Linfield Ladies’ star striker Kirsty McGuinness says manager Phil Lewis’ half-time team-talk was key as the Blues came from 3-0 down away to Glentoran to clinch the League title with a 5-3 victory. Linfield showed great character to turn it around – especially after losing to the Glens in the Irish Cup final six days earlier.

“It was great winning the league against Glentoran. Obviously, there’s a bit rivalry between both clubs and them beating us the week before in the Irish Cup final had us feeling that we had a point to prove. We didn’t perform in the Cup final and we lost because of it - we didn’t want that to happen again!

“Half-time in the changing room wasn’t fun - we all knew that our first half performance wasn’t good enough and Phil told us that because he knew that we had so much more in us. He knew how much winning meant to us, so without giving too much changing room talk away, he gave us the kick up the backside we needed and we went out and gave the second half performance that we and Phil knew we were capable of which got us the win in the end.”

“Losing two cup finals was disappointing but we also knew that our season wasn’t over yet and there was still the main trophy to be won, so we had to get over them very quickly and get back on the training pitch and work hard! I think the character of the squad really showed because even though we lost 2 cup finals, we weren’t going to let that affect us going forward and we didn’t - that’s why we are League Champions and League Cup Winners again!”

Kirsty has a number of league winning medals to her name but she says this one is the sweetest due to the fact the history-makers made it three titles in a row.

“This league win is extra special because it’s three in a row for us and we are the only club ever to do that. The balance of young and experienced players we have is something that really works for us and the bond within the team is unbelievable and I think that shows on the pitch because all give 110% for one another. Once we cross that white line, everything goes out the window and the desire and hunger to win for each other is what got us another league title this season!”

The McGuinness family are an example of the family club that Linfield prides itself on. Kirsty’s brother Caomhan is a talented defender for Linfield Swifts, her youngest sister Orleaith is in the Linfield Academy pipeline and sister Caitlin often lines up beside Kirsty. That said, Kirsty joked that it could come at a cost to her.

“Having my sister play in the same team is great and winning trophies together is something we will both remember for a long time. She’s a super player who works her socks off and she will only get better as time goes on. It’s fun too, because we are both very competitive and she’s been telling me she’s coming for my top goal scorer record! Although, if anyone was going to take it away, it wouldn’t be so bad if it was my sister.”

The prolific striker has bagged a phenomenal 31 goals in 27 appearances this season and is really enjoying her football – so much so that he plans on sticking around in a bid for further success in future with Linfield.

“I’ve been at Linfield 11 years now and I’m still here because I love winning and I love winning with this team. We are a family and we will all continue to work hard in the future and hopefully there will be many more trophies and winners medals to come in the future.”

Everyone at Linfield wishes Kirsty and her team mates every best wish for what should be a celebratory occasion as they collect the NIFL Danske Bank Women’s Premier League Trophy after tomorrow’s game with Crusaders at New Midgley Park.
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