A serial winner, you wouldn't back against Bríd Stack rising high again

We were looking forward to watching a true Rebel Legend flying the flag for Cork in Aussie Rules until her injury setback
A serial winner, you wouldn't back against Bríd Stack rising high again

Bríd Stack in action during a training session in the US Olympic Training Center, in Chula Vista, ahead of the TG4 Ladies Football All-Star game. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

WITH most sport in Ireland shut down, we've to look further afield for a respite from the grim Covid coverage.

For some, that's the Premier League. Liverpool's struggles in defending their title are compelling. 

For others the NFL offered an out in recent months, Tom Brady defying all logic to steer Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl at the age of 43.

The Six Nations is a rugby fix and there's still some quality racing on screen, with Cheltenham on the horizon. 

There's plenty of basketball available as well. Cork duo Jordan Blount and Adrian O'Sullivan are on the hardwood in Spain and at the top level in the NBA veterans LeBron James, Damien Lillard and Steph Curry are in electric form while young guns like Luka Doncic, Ja Morant and LaMelo Ball are ripping it up.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is back to his best form. Picture: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is back to his best form. Picture: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Bríd Stack's adventure in Australia should have complemented all that ideally, with TG4 showing live games and highlights this season from the AFLW. It's the closest thing to Gaelic football we have while we wait for the all-clear for the GAA to resume. Never has the league been more eagerly anticipated! 

Unfortunately for Bríd, a horrifying injury on the eve of the season has put her participation in huge doubt. 

It was a really gutsy decision to take flight for Oz two years after she's retired from ladies football at inter-county level. 

That she put her life here on hold, with husband Cárthach and son Cáthach Óg accompanying her, to pursue the dream of being a pro in her thirties, made the sceál all the more intriguing. 

2016 Senior Players' Player of the Year Bríd Stack with her husband Cárthach Keane. Picture: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
2016 Senior Players' Player of the Year Bríd Stack with her husband Cárthach Keane. Picture: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

A serial winner, with 12 All-Ireland medals, you'd have backed her to make a real mark for the Giants.

In a weekly column with The Irish Examiner, which you can read in full here, Bríd has offered a terrific insight into the impact the injury had on her mentally and emotionally and her brave bid to take to the oval field again. It's a race against the clock, as the regular season ends in late March.

"Some people might call me crazy to risk my health but it’s hard to describe my desire to see this thing through, for it to end well, to prove myself out here, to repay the faith, love, caring and deep affection the Giants have shown to me and my family," she wrote. "Of course, I’m not going to be stupid but, if I can play, why shouldn’t I at least try? It’s not in my nature not to try, especially when 2021 could be my one and only opportunity to play AFLW."

Nerve damage in her arm is what's preventing a return for now. That All-Star determination could see her defy the odds yet.

"I was talking to a good friend on Thursday who said something which resonated loudly with me. ‘It’s not how small the steps are once the steps are in the right direction.’ Small steps for sure. But hopefully, please God, I’m headed in that right direction."

Those small steps are all any of us can manage these days.

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