THE CORK ladies footballers' preparations are underway for the championship opener against Kerry.
Powerful forward Aine Terry O’Sullivan will be a vital player for Ephie Fitzgerald's side on November 7.
The Beara player captained the West Cork senior ladies footballers to county final glory for the first time earlier this year after they defeated Mourneabbey.
“It was a very proud day for my family, my club and I. It was a huge honour to be captain of West Cork. We have been knocking on the door for the last number of years, so it was extra special being captain and winning the county final this year,” said the Allihies native.
Immediate attention for the talented forward now lies with the Cork senior footballers who are preparing for championship action in a round-robin format.
“It is great to be still playing. Little did we know back in March that we would be training in October with the hope of winning an All-Ireland in December.
"We went back training with Cork once the club competitions finished and it’s been very enjoyable being back with the team. We have two tough games coming up against Kerry and Cavan, but we are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Hopefully we will all stay safe in these uncertain times and that the championship will go ahead as planned.”
Ladies football in Cork continues to grow in Rebel county.
“Ladies football is thriving at the moment in Cork and especially in West Cork which is fantastic. The West Cork Board have put in a lot of hard work at all level.
"The 20x20 campaign has also contributed as it has put a lot of focus on women in sport and the many benefits from it. Our success with the West Cork ladies team this year will hopefully keep the momentum going in West Cork.
"There is definitely an increase in younger girls taking up football over recent years, so hopefully our win this year will inspire some of the younger generation in West Cork to take up football.”
During the lockdown period, the Cork ladies footballers were supplied with individual training programmes which ensured they maintained their fitness levels ahead of the campaign restarting.
“The Cork management team gave us strength and conditioning programmes to work on so we were kept busy throughout the lockdown. It was great that the championships went ahead. We were delighted to complete the championships.”