Athlone Town midfielder Laurie Ryan with the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League Player of the Month for April 2022. PHOTO: SPORTSFILE

Athlone captain chosen for Player of the Month award

The stats don’t lie and they paint quite a picture when it comes to the recent form of the Athlone Town women’s team, with the performances of team captain Laurie Ryan a major factor in the club’s ascent up the table.

Athlone have won five of their last six games - with only a narrow loss to Peamount United spoiling their run - to move up to fourth place in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

The victories have been secured due to a massive team effort from Tommy Hewitt’s outfit, but there is no denying the influence that Ryan has had. The Clare native is winning more duels, making more interceptions and completing more passes than ever before.

Ryan is the type of player who brings out the best in those around her, but this season she is standing out all on her own. It’s not that she is seeking a share of the spotlight; she’s just playing incredibly well.

Upon receiving the award, Ryan said: “I’m delighted to win the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League Player of the Month award. I was really shocked when I got the phone call. It’s a massive achievement for myself, personally, but also for the club. It just shows that we are starting to get some recognition.

“I’m getting to work with a lot of really nice girls and that’s key because I might wear the captain’s armband but the squad is filled with leaders. There is so many girls stepping up this year which is brilliant to see,” she continued.

Leanne Sheill, SSE Airtricity Marketing Manager, congratulated Laurie on her award. “She has been instrumental in Athlone Town’s great start to the season and it’s clear that Laurie is an excellent leader for her team,” said Leanne.

“Furthermore, her exploits in GAA with Clare make this achievement all the more inspiring! Her ability to effectively manage her time and perform at the highest level in two sports is incredible. We can’t wait to see how the season progresses with so many great teams making it a really competitive league this year.”

Ryan was selected ahead of Galway WFC midfielder Julie-Ann Russell and Peamount United striker Áine O’Gorman.

Athlone Town defeated Cork City 4-1 last Saturday evening to make it four league wins in a row. Muireann Devaney scored two goals against Cork, with Emily Corbet (penalty) and Gillian Keenan also on target for Tommy Hewitt’s charges.