She hurls with the same colour, swagger and self belief. Fast and furious off the ball, precision passing when in possession.
In the NBA last month basketball stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozen went public with their struggles off the court and have been lauded for their honesty. Thompson was able to open up about her difficulties four years ago, coming in the wake of Cloyne’s Conor Cusack leading the way in 2013.
The key is she has walked the walk as well as talking the talk. In the modern era Thompson has four counties, four Munster titles and three All-Irelands with her club Milford, three All-Irelands with Cork – one as captain – and two All-Stars.
Her fascinating career is documented superbly on Wednesday on TG4 as she features in the 16th series of the brilliant Laochra Gael show. The new hour-long format has been terrific so far, with Lar Corbett and Graham Geraghty covered to date, and Henry Shefflin and Mickey Harte to come.
‘She also speaks about how her camogie bruises affected her brief career as a fashion model, mental health advocacy, sledging, referees, the challenges faced by a top female sports star, and her Red Bull colleague Joe Canning.’
This is a golden age for Cork’s female GAA stars.
Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley are on a par with Jack Lynch, Teddy Mac and JBM as the greatest dual aces the county has produced.
Anna Geary called time on her playing career too soon – she was just 27 in 2015 – but in switching into a career in media and television, she’s done an incredible job promoting camogie.
Geary, Thompson and more have shown you can be glamorous and an elite player. That’s an important message to send to young girls when the drop-off rates among teenagers are especially high in female sport.