My nana was barred from playing camogie after a dodgy swipe at some poor girls shins back in the day. This is perhaps the reason why my family didn’t partake in any games as I was growing up.
My first memory of football was with my 4th class muinteoir, one Denis Monaghan with Cumman na mbunscoil. Back then I was on a boys team. I played with Cuala for 2 or 3 years of my early teens with Sarah and Ruth Egan.
Then, unfortunately, I slipped away in my mid-teens as I got busy with school and weekend work.
Fast forward a few years – I was 22, in my 3rd year of college studying midwifery and struggling with my mental health. I was told to go back to something I loved – and so it was Cuala.
Like a long lost cousin, I felt like I fitted into the family again. I now work as a midwife on the labour ward in Holles street and although I have my own role I’m part of a huge team.
In a way, I see Cuala as the same. I have a little role on the team but it’s a team first and foremost and I love that.
Coming back to Cuala is something I’ve never regretted. It is difficult juggling shift work, training and matches but I’m very blessed with work and manage both 80% of the time. I think the standard of ladies football is ever elevating and it’s amazing to see so many girls and women involved.
It keeps me wanting more. The community and camaraderie on and off the pitch is wonderful. I work with other midwives who play – some even local rivals and it’s so lovely to be able to shake hands at the end of a match.
I started playing with UCD last year when I went back to study a Masters which is something I never would have thought of before.
Being part of Cuala has taught me many life skills and lessons that now stand to me in my working day – being a team player, my attitude, resilience, commitment, respect, determination, accepting the wins and losses and knowing when to run forward and when to stay back.