Find out how Conor Hourihane, Clare Shine and Caoimhín Kelleher are staying sharp despite the sporting lockdown

Find out how Conor Hourihane, Clare Shine and Caoimhín Kelleher are staying sharp despite the sporting lockdown
Conor Hourihane of Aston Villa runs with the ball during the pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Villa. Picture: Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images

WATCHING Netflix, keeping fit in the garden and missing the buzz of training and matches.

There are some common threads with Cork's soccer stars as they wait for the Covid-19 crisis to ease and sport to return.

Clare Shine on Ireland duty. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Clare Shine on Ireland duty. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

As part of an FAI video series, entitled #StayAtHomeWith, Conor Hourihane, Clare Shine and Caoimhín Kelleher have all offered a fun insight into their lockdown lives during this strange time. Like the rest of us, they long for the routine and connection sport provides.

The full #StayAtHomeWith collection is on the FAI website and viewable on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram TV.

Bandon native Hourihane has lined out at every level of the game cross-channel and before the break had featured in the League Cup final with Aston Villa. 

Conor Hourihane and former Ireland assistant coach Terry Connor at training. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Conor Hourihane and former Ireland assistant coach Terry Connor at training. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"I've been watching Tiger King, very, very interesting. I watched Sunderland 'Til I Die series a few weeks back as well. Obviously started off my career there so interested in that one. Watched Stranger on Netflix. They were all quite good," he explained.

While he's tipping away, it's impossible to replicate the structure of organised training.

"I miss the buzz of heading into training, seeing the lads, matchday, full stadiums, getting good results or not so good results and just so fortunate to be able to play football in general, that love and passion I've got from the game that's been taken away. At the minute I'm not able to do that, so it's tough. 

"It's a home fitness schedule, doing running and whatever you can and keeping as fit as possible. It's mainly cardio and gym. A little bit of ball in the back garden, which isn't the size of a football pitch, that's for sure. Making the most of it and the nice weather is great to get outside."

With a daughter at home, the 29-year-old has a welcome distraction too. 

"I've been doing everything to keep my young daughter busy with my partner. Bit of painting, bit of baking. She's learning how to walk at the minute. She's getting there. We're reading books, watching movies and through boredom we've got two rabbits."

He's been in touch with fellow Leesiders abroad John Egan and Alan Browne lately and his advice is straightforward.

Hourihane and John Egan. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Hourihane and John Egan. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

"Stay as fit as possible. There are loads of videos going around, there's YouTube and all the rest of it. Whatever you're into, whether it's fitness or Yoga or bike sessions."

For Glasgow City striker Clare Shine, who had been heavily involved with the Irish women's team's recent progress in the European qualifiers, looking after your mental health is vital. 

"I've read two books since lockdown has started. 'What I Know For Sure' by Oprah Winfrey, I thought it was an excellent book and would definitely recommend, and the other one was Richie Sadlier. I found this extremely interesting as I could relate to a lot of it.

"For anyone who is struggling at the moment, this book particularly helps me when I'm struggling, 'The Recovery Letters'. It's addressed to anyone who is experiencing depression or suffering with mental health. It's letters from loads of different people who have recovered or come out of a really dark place so it's inspiring to see the amount of people willing to help.

"It's just important to keep yourself ticking over and your mental state is important because it's a big shock to a lot of us. Keep on top of that, keep yourself fit and active and we'll come out of this better than ever."

Clare Shine celebrates a goal for Glasgow City.
Clare Shine celebrates a goal for Glasgow City.

The Douglas dynamo, who lined out in a senior All-Ireland camogie final for Cork before concentrating on soccer, loves to train.

"[You'd miss] the buzz around going into training, seeing the girls and meeting up with the international team, the routine of it.

"I've been going out four or five times a week doing a basic running programme that I've been assigned by Glasgow City. Then we've different home workouts for core, with bodyweight."

Liverpool goalie and Ringmahon Rangers graduate Caoimhín Kelleher has recovered from injury during lockdown. 

Shrewsbury Town's Daniel Udoh collides with Liverpool's Caoimhín Kelleher. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Shrewsbury Town's Daniel Udoh collides with Liverpool's Caoimhín Kelleher. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

He's used this period to binge watch a TV classic in The Sopranos and the Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix, The Last Dance.

"I miss going training every day and seeing the lads. The buzz of training and then going playing games as well. It's what I love to do.

"Liverpool send us a programme at the start of every week. It's mostly fitness stuff, running or cycling, as well as goalkeeping specific drills. We also have other strength sessions to keep our muscles in good shape so we don't pick up any injuries when we get back.

"We also have Zoom meetings as team and there's stuff like Yoga and core work."

Now with a lockdown beard, Kelleher reckons his "quiz knowledge has gone up a whole other level", but not his cooking. 

"I've done a lot of quizzes with my family and friends. My general knowledge has gone up.

"I can't cook but I have done a few pasta dishes. I wouldn't have tried anything new, I'm not at that level yet. Going out and having a nice meal. I miss that."

Kelleher in his PBC days. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kelleher in his PBC days. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The Leesider believes people should just do as much as they can to remain active. 

"I feel a lot better when I exercise. YouTube has loads of sessions on it and just try to stay fit and healthy."

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