'It's tough to stay motivated to train when you don't know if you'll play a match'

'It's tough to stay motivated to train when you don't know if you'll play a match'
Doireann O'Sullivan, the Cork ladies football ace who would rather be in action than talking about games.

RIGHT now, in normal circumstances, Doireann O’Sullivan should have two main thoughts on her mind.

The first would be how her Leaving Cert and Junior Cert Irish classes are going to do in the State exams.

The second is the Cork ladies footballers' prospects in the Munster and All-Ireland championships.

Doireann took over the captaincy of the senior side at the start of last season and in her first year in charge they won the league and Munster titles, before losing out to Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.

This year Cork had been going well, were on top of the league and on course to retain that title when all action was stopped due to Covid-19.

The LGFA moved quickly once the scale of the pandemic became obvious and cancelled the national league for this season, with the other championships still undecided. 

At the weekend, the Cork and Galway panels took part in a fun skills challenge for LaraLynn Children's Hospice, with the Rebels winning 16-11.

That was a diversion for both squads, all for a fantastic cause, but every player in the country is missing their training sessions and match days.

“Like all players I would much rather be playing than talking about it and like all involved I have no idea when or if we will get to play again this year,” said Doireann.

“To be honest it is very hard to keep yourself motivated to train when you don’t know what’s happening or if anything is going to happen at all.

“But I am lucky in that I can train with my sister Ciara so that keeps us both going.”

On whether they will get back playing this year Doireann said her opinion changes on a regular basis.

“First and foremost is everyone’s health and well being, whether they play sport or not. That is the most important consideration.

“You would have to question whether it will be safe to go back playing at all this year and if players, managers, referees and all involved will be happy to do so.

“Some days I think that if conditions are right then yes, but then you hear the death figures and others in hospital and the tragedy surrounding that and my thoughts are no way should it be considered.

“All we can do is wait and see and hopefully we will be rid of this virus sooner rather than later for the sake of everyone.”

Speaking on her role as an Irish teacher Doireann said: “Like the students teachers are learning to deal with remote teaching.

“It’s not ideal but luckily we had the Irish course finished before schools closed so we are revising and doing exam questions.

“It’s far from ideal for all involved but credit to the students they are getting on with it as best they can,” concluded Doireann.

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