A NUMBER of players from the Republic of Ireland Women’s team have spoken of their delight at seeing Cork native Clare Shine return to competitive action recently.
The Glasgow City striker was introduced as an 80th-minute substitute in their 2-0 victory against Celtic on the opening weekend of the Scottish Women’s Premier League season.
The former Cork City forward has often opened up about her battle with depression and she went missing from her home in Scotland during the summer.
But now she seems in a better place, which is warmly welcomed by the Irish squad.
“It was amazing to see,” enthused Ireland captain Kate McCabe.
“She will have no problem with me saying this, but to see her at that stage a few months ago was heartbreaking.
"But the strength, courage, and resilience she showed in the last few weeks and months has been fantastic.
“We're in touch daily. She messaged me Wednesday morning to say good luck on, so she's always watching and supporting the team from afar.
“I’m so proud of her. She has worked so hard to get back where she's at and it goes to show that with the right support around you that you can get back on your feet.
“She's concentrating on club football and getting match fitness back. Clare is a fantastic player, a massive goal scorer, and there’s no doubt in time she will be back with us.”
Playmaker Ruesha Littlejohn added: “She has overcome a lot and it's been a long journey for her. It's great to see her back on track.
“I'm sure it won't take too long to get the match fitness back and she'll be back scoring goals and back in contention to get back in the squad.” And midfielder Niamh Fahey also said; “Shiney is such a lovable character. Everyone was really worried about her when she had that period.
“We’re delighted to see her on the other side of it, back on the pitch with a smile on her face. It was a great moment and the girls are really buzzing for her.”
Fahey and the FAI have joined forces with the organisation Jigsaw, who offer support to young people struggling with their mental health.
As part of the link-up, the Liverpool captain spoke to Jigsaw Youth Advisory Panel member and Cork City defender Ciara McNamara about the initiative.
“There is a lot of pressure placed on young people and they need to feel that it’s okay to talk to someone, no matter what they are going through.
“Jigsaw are doing terrific work in helping young people around mental health and it is through people like Ciara that they can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
“I spoke with Ciara and it was a privilege for me to speak with someone that is doing such great work during this tough time for everyone.” To find out more, visit www.jigsaw.ie.