20 questions with Seandún camogie captain Susan Kate Brosnan: My love of the game started with going to the Tank Field with my dad

In our new series, Susan Kate Brosnan breaks down a memorable season with Rory Noonan
20 questions with Seandún camogie captain Susan Kate Brosnan: My love of the game started with going to the Tank Field with my dad

Mairead Donovan, chairperson Cork Camogie, presents the cup to Susan-Kate Brosnan, Seandún captain, after their win over Sarsfields in the county final. Picture: Jim Coughlan

JUST a few weeks ago Susan Kate Brosnan had the honour of lifting the cup as she captained Seandún to the camogie senior county title for the second year in a row.

The Brian Dillons player was one of their star performers on the day and not too many forwards fancy coming up against Susan Kate.

With her club and with Seandún she has been involved in some memorable games over the years and recalls them fondly.

As an underage player with Brian Dillons, a U16 county final win over Rockbán is one that she looks back on with great memories.

“I just remember it so vividly as there was a lot of hype coming up to it and it was a lashing rain on the day and we ended up winning by a couple of points,” said Susan Kate.

“At that age, you can have a drop off of girls playing sport and it drove us on to win a minor county afterwards and it was a huge incentive to keep playing and a really positive experience.

“Preparing for that final we did bonding sessions for the first time away from the pitch and it was a great experience.” 

Susan Kate Brosnan of Brian Dilons in action against Tracton's Aoibhinn Kidney. Picture: Des Barry
Susan Kate Brosnan of Brian Dilons in action against Tracton's Aoibhinn Kidney. Picture: Des Barry

As an adult player, she said to captain Seandun to beat Sarsfields in the county final was huge and it was a great honour to bring the cup back to Brian Dillons afterwards.

With Brian Dillons, she recalled a junior county final against Enniskeane in 2012.

“It ended in a draw and went to a replay and we won that by two points. We were real rivals for a few years and had many great games against them. It created a huge buzz in the club and we kicked on from there. We also won the league that year, beating Sliabh Rua in the final.

“We won the Junior A then and went up intermediate and enjoyed success there and that win over Enniskeane kickstarted that great time for the club."

20 QUESTIONS WITH SUSAN-KATE BROSNAN

1. What age are you? 

29

2. When did you start playing?

I started playing when I was in primary school in Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn with Sciath na Scol teams and then joined Brian Dillons when I was 12.

3. What is your favourite venue to compete in?

I don’t have a favourite venue really, but growing up and even now, it is great to play a game in our home pitch of the “Tank Field”. There is always a crowd watching and cheering us on.

4. What other sports did you play growing up?

I loved athletics and trained with Leevale for a while. I also played Gaelic Football growing up.

5. Who were the major influences on your sporting career?

There are a few, but I suppose the main influence was always my dad. I used to go up to the Tank Field with Dad every day for hours practising my camogie as a child. He drove all over the country bringing me to matches in my teens and is still my biggest supporter to this day. Niall MacLochlainn was also a significant figure.

Niall does trojan work with underage teams in Brian Dillons and he was the first person to ask me to join the club. John Ring also had a huge influence on me. He trained me from the age of 12 until I was about 20! With him as coach, we won Junior B and Junior A titles with Brian Dillons.

Another major figure is Linda Mellerick, her coaching is second to none, but it is how she demonstrates commitment, dedication and a winning mindset that have really influenced me. She coached us to intermediate success in 2015.

6. Who are your sporting heroes, then and now?

Growing up I was always a huge fan of Sonia O Sullivan and when she won silver in the Olympics there was a Civil Ceremony in City Hall for her that I was lucky enough to attend. I got to meet her in person and hold the medal, a real “pinch me” moment.

7. Did you have a fork-in-the-road moment where you might have gone a different route?

Not really. I suppose with everything, there were moments after significant losses or years where there weren’t huge commitment levels at training where you might ask yourself 'is it all worth it?' but those moments are fleeting and persevering through those tough times makes success all the sweeter.

8. What was the most memorable game you attended?

I think the Cork v Galway in the All-Ireland Hurling final of 2005 is the most memorable for me, At the time you could fly from Cork to Dublin and my aunt and uncle took me up on the plane to see the game! I was 12 at the time and totally beside myself with excitement. I still think Seán Óg’s speech that day was incredible!

9. What was your biggest sporting disappointment?

In 2014 we lost the Intermediate County final to Sars and I was captain. That was a tough one to take but stood to us when we came back to win the following year!

10. Who was your toughest opponent?

I find marking Katelyn Hickey from Blackrock very tough. She’s incredibly fast and skilful and reads the game exceptionally well.

11. What are the most important traits in your sport?

Skill and fitness level are huge and come from consistent training and commitment but to be honest, when it comes down to the wire in tough games, it’s heart and determination that stand out to you the most!

12. What advice would you give young players starting out?

Play as many sports as you can and have fun! Things won’t always go your way, but setbacks help build resilience so keep persevering and practising.

13. If you could go to any sporting event what would it be?

I’d love to go to the Olympics. I think the buzz would be amazing!

14. If you could have taken part in any historical sporting event, what would it have been?

There are a few, I’m not sure about taking part in, but I think being a spectator at the Ireland V New Zealand Rugby test earlier this year in New Zealand would have been amazing. I also think the 2008 Wimbledon Final between Nadal and Federer would have been epic to attend!

15. What movies and TV shows are you streaming?

Recently I’ve started watching “The Sopranos” from the beginning and am loving it.

16. What is on your Spotify playlist?

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I love “My Therapist Ghosted Me”, “Crime World” and “What’s the Crime?”

17. What is your favourite book?

I love the “Outlander” series. I also love true crime books and have read lots by Jo Spain. I recently read “The hearts invisible furies” and thought it was excellent.

18. Who do you enjoy following on social media?

I mainly follow friends on social media, but also love following travel pages, I find they’re very handy if you’re planning a trip away. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the “perfectionism” on social media and important to remember that it’s where everyone puts their best foot forward, and not necessarily reflective of reality.

19. What is your cheat meal when you’re not training?

I love pizza, I’m very boring with toppings though, I only ever go for margherita.

20. What are your sporting goals from here?

To keep playing and enjoying camogie as long as I can!

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