Cork v Kilkenny: Hannah Looney refreshed after stint in New York

"I came home the last week in May and it has been a whirlwind since; I came back with the intention of giving the All-Ireland a good crack."
Cork v Kilkenny: Hannah Looney refreshed after stint in New York

Cork’s Hannah Looney in action at Croke Park in the All-Ireland semi-final. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

A CHAT with one former Cork player and a phone call to another made Hannah Looney's mind up about returning to Cork.

The dual star was in New York since last October for work reasons but had this niggling voice in the back of her head about how the season ended for the Cork senior camogie side and Hannah wanted to help make amends for their loss to Galway in the final.

Hannah Looney celebrates with teammate Katie O'Mahoney after beating Waterford. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Hannah Looney celebrates with teammate Katie O'Mahoney after beating Waterford. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

When the season ended she had the opportunity with her employer's MSD to move to New York and work there for a year and she decided to head Stateside to experience life in the Big Apple.

"I came home the last week in May and it has been a whirlwind since then, it has been great and in some ways, it's like I was never away and I came back with the intention of giving the All-Ireland a good crack.

"I left with a one-year contract to go to New York and live it up over there and I don't regret anything at all. I went in October so did about eight months in the end. Matthew [camogie manager] was on to me when I left and I said we will address it in January.

"I moved over there and Orla Cotter [former Cork camogie star] was living down the road from me, so just having her support from day one and meeting all her friends meant I had a great community behind me and I was having the time of my life.

"A lot of my identity growing up has been around playing GAA because that's what I have done since I was 10 or 11 and I made great friends and have had great experiences from it. 

But it was great to be in a big city where GAA was at the bottom of everyone's agenda and kind of find myself and know I can have passions for different things.

"But at the back of my mind was how the camogie final finished last year and it was always lingering and Matthew would check in with me every few weeks about coming back. I remember I sat down with Orla and said this is where my mindset is at and kind of made a plan and said I could probably get back workwise at the end of May.

NO PRESSURE

"I was also training away over there and that was another thing I had a healthy relationship with exercising. When I'm home it's training for camogie or football and it's 'eat this' and 'do that', whereas over there I just went for a run or went to the gym, without the pressure of needing to go training.

"I had a conversation with Orla about coming back and I rang Briege Corkery as I knew she would be someone to give me good advice. I told her where my head was at and that I was thinking of coming home for the championship.

"She told me that if I had any bit of itch for it go back as I would regret it, so that helped me make my mind up then to come back and whatever happens on Sunday I have no regrets.

"It's a big challenge on Sunday but we will go out there and enjoy it and it will be a battle against Kilkenny. We are going in as underdogs and we can't question that with the run they have had in the championship.

"Have we played our best all year is another question and we all know if we bring what we are capable of we can get over the line, but it's going to be a huge challenge on Sunday."


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