NOW in her eighth season playing National League, Cork’s Trish Fennelly Hunt gives us an insight into the life of a footballer and the commitment involved playing for a team outside her own county.
Playing with National League side Limerick, the 5' 11” goalkeeper admits it can be a tiring process travelling to and from training sessions, however, playing at a high level with and against some of the best players in the country, is what motivates her year after year.
“I won’t lie, the travelling can be very hard sometimes, especially after a long day at work. It can be tough to get into your car and travel straight from work to training, get on the pitch for an hour and a half then travel home again,” said Trish.
“The majority of the time I don’t get home until about 11.30pm and I would have started work at 7.30am that morning.
“It’s a lot of commitment but luckily for me my husband Paul does exactly the same thing so we understand the commitment that both of us have to make especially when some weeks we both train on separate days and have different match days where he might play on a Saturday and I might be playing on a Sunday but it works out just fine.
“There have been times where I thought I have enough of the travelling of course but what motivates me is I know I’m lucky enough to be able to play at this level and be part of an amazing squad.
“There are some people who would love to play this level but can’t because of various reasons, so that’s what motivates me to keep going.
“I keep telling myself to keep playing while I can because the time will come when I won’t be able to.”
The Knockneheeney woman began her footballing career with Cork City where she spent six years, however, she then made the move to Dublin side Peamount.
Wanting to be closer to home, she then moved to Limerick and is now entering her second season under Dave Rooney.
A young but ever progressing club, Trish is looking forward to the new season ahead which kicks off this weekend with Limerick taking on Galway in what Trish expects to be a tough task.
“I expect every game in the league this year to be very competitive.
“However, pre-season had been very good this year for us.
“Last year we didn’t get the time we wanted in pre-season because the club was only newly formed but this year has been spot on.
“We have been training three nights a week this includes one gym session on a Tuesday night where we work with our strength and conditioning coach and we are given work to do in the gym for the rest of the week ourselves. This is topped off by a game on the weekend.
“From a Limerick perspective, I expect us to be quite competitive, after getting a season behind us and adding to the squad we can build on last year’s experience.
“We have given ourselves a goal for the season and we are going to work hard to reach that.
“We want to improve on everything from last season and take that experience onto the pitch this year. I have been playing at this level for a long time and I want to keep playing at this level for as long as my body allows.
“With Paul playing with Cobh and watching him train and play games it helps motivate me to keep going and he is always pushing me to keep going for as long as I can.
“On top of that I feel good in training and matches, so when I feel like that I know I’m still able to keep going and keep improving.
“I would have said when I took that break two seasons ago and then towards the end of last season when I dislocated my knee I thought that might be the end for me playing national league but I still have that drive in me to keep going and want to keep improving and playing against the top players in the country so as long as I’m fit and healthy I will keep playing National league.
“I’ve always said if I stopped playing in WNL I would probably retire but then I love playing the game so chances are I would probably play locally, that’s where I learned the love for the game and was given the confidence and training to step up to the WNL so I would have no problem going back there. At the moment I am working for the HSE and am also working at Urban Fitness which is the gym my brother Anthony owns.
“Again I’m lucky enough that I’m able to fit my playing schedule in around these and both have been great to me. Anthony is coaching with Cork City and has played at the highest level himself so he knows the commitment involved so he helps me out in that respect also.
“It does mean long days and juggling the workload but it’s working out fine at the moment so I am happy to keep going and I am really looking forward to kicking off the season this weekend.
“It would be great to kick off the season with three points.”