FORMER Dohenys ladies footballer Claire Deane enjoyed huge success with her new club team in Dublin this season.
The Dunmanway native helped Naomh Olaf win a junior football county title. She was thrilled to help her new side achieve county final glory following their win against Ballyboden St Enda's.
“It was a massive achievement. It's my first county title personally, so it'll always be special. Naomh Olaf's ladies team had actually started as a team for Mothers and Others.
"It was only as more girls passed the minor age that they decided to enter a team in the adult championship eight years ago. This will stand to us when we are promoted next year."
The West Cork football star moved to Dublin in September 2018 to start a graduate programme with Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants. Claire lives in Sandyford which attracted her to the possibility of joining Naomh Olaf.
“I knew I wanted to continue playing football in Dublin. I finished the 2018 season with the Dohenys. It wasn’t sustainable however to continue playing in Cork, because I wouldn't have made any training sessions or matches.
"In early January 2019, I began emailing a few clubs and Naomh Olaf were the first club to get back to me. They are a fantastic club. All of the girls were so welcoming.”
She has great memories from her time playing football with her beloved Dohenys.
“I have some brilliant memories. I started playing football when I was eight. I joined the junior team when I was 15. We didn’t achieve much success at underage level.
"We had more luck with the junior team winning a league title in 2014 and a few West Cork titles. We seemed to be famous for losing three county finals in successive years which was tough.
"I'm delighted they finally got over the line last year. I couldn't have been happier for the girls and the management team. I still keep abreast of all their results. My father Willie, is involved with their U16 and minor team. He keeps me up to speed with all their developments.”
Dohenys ladies football club are thriving at present. They boast huge numbers both at adult and underage level, while they also possess an All-Star in Cork half-back Melissa Duggan.
“They're doing very well at the moment in all age groups. The club has huge numbers now playing. Melissa has put the Doheny club on the map since joining the Cork ladies team.
"She's a fantastic role model. It is great that the younger girls in the club have someone like Melissa to look up to.”