Falling in love with sport again... Cork soccer ace Clare is Shining once more

Falling in love with sport again... Cork soccer ace Clare is Shining once more

Glasgow City’s Clare Shine goes close during the UEFA Women’s Champions League match at Petershill Park. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

CORK girl Clare Shine hit a remarkable winner, in the closing minutes, for Glasgow in the Scottish Cup final against holders, Hibs. It was her second goal in an epic, 4-3 victory.

Shine, formerly of Douglas Hall and Cork City, was Player of the Match.

“It was definitely up there with one of the most amazing feelings,” said Shine. “To come from behind twice during the game showed amazing character from the team. I am just happy I was able to contribute with my two goals to bring the Scottish cup back to Glasgow.

“Winning the Scottish Cup means everything. It’s been an incredible year for the club: Winning the league, for the 13th year in a row, qualifying for the last-eight of the Champions League; and winning the Scottish Cup was the icing on the cake,” Shine says.

The Scottish powerhouse have a Champions League quarter-final in the new year. Shine will be a vital cog in those games as well.

The 24-year-old had been out of football for a while, for personal reasons, before her second stint with Glasgow, and she couldn’t be happier.

“Personally, I have worked so hard, on and off the pitch, to get myself back playing at this level. It was amazing to receive player of the match, to be rewarded for all the hard work I have put in. It certainly has made all the hard work worthwhile,” she says.

Shine got the call 12 months ago to return to Glasgow and it has helped her progress both on and off the pitch.

“Scott Booth contacted me in January, to see would I be interested in coming over and speaking to them again. I went over in March, to play a friendly game against a boys’ team, and I immediately got the feeling for football again and agreed to make the move at the beginning of April,” Shine says.

“I have struggled a lot off the pitch in recent years, with different things, and I felt Glasgow was the right place for me to be in. They have helped me develop as a person, on and off the pitch, and have helped me create such a positive mindset to ensure I can perform to the best of my ability.

“I will forever be thankful for the support I have been given since I returned.

“Life in Glasgow has been amazing, I worked in JD Sports three days a week to give myself that independence away from football. I then moved in with my friend Emily Thompson, who used to play for Glasgow City, but had to retire early, due to injury, four years ago,” Shine says.

Striking a work-life balance has been essential to her game improvement and for her love of the game to return.

“Working allowed me to see that there was another life other than football, which I think is important and part of the reason this season was such a success for me,” she says.

Anyone who has seen Shine play knows she has an abundance of talent, and when she chose not to play, everyone agreed it was such a shame.

It’s hard to think that just two years ago, she hated football and the lifestyle she was living. She is grateful to the joy her niece brought her and believes this was the main reason for her regaining her love for the game.

Because of this, she’s now enjoying life and football again and delighted to be home for a month now to relax with her family and friends. Everyone who knows Shine is thrilled for her.

“I left Glasgow in 2017, because I felt I needed a break from it all, but ended up signing for Cork City. I was homesick and just needed time at home, which actually backfired and I ended up just completely hating football and the lifestyle I created for myself,” she says.

“My niece, Emily, was born at the end of 2016. I looked after her and spent nearly every day with her; she was the only good thing I had going for me; she brought that happiness I needed to keep going.”

She was disillusioned last year that she used injury as an excuse to opt out.

“In 2018, I think I ended up only playing three games for Cork City; pretended to be injured for the majority of the season just to get people off my back and to stop asking me why I wasn’t playing. It was a massive eye-opener for me,” Shine says.

“I can’t see myself at any other club right now, so Glasgow City is where I’ll be next season.

“We want to go one better next year and bring all three trophies back to Glasgow, as, this season, we missed out on the league cup, after losing on penalties during the summer,” Shine says.

“We have the quarter-finals of the Champions League in March, against a very strong side Wolfsburg.

“It will be a big test for us, but I know it will be an amazing experience and I’m really looking forward to it.”

I was homesick and just needed time at home, which actually backfired and I ended up just completely hating football and the lifestyle I created for myself

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