Monday, 1 April 2013

Interview #4 - Caitlin Looney

Hey Caitlin, how're things? Studying hard no doubt...
Hello Hogi, thing's are good. Well I'm trying to anyway.

Congrats on making your first Irish team outside of the Juniors setup! I'd say you're excited to say the least. Tell us about your last two years of playing experience.
Thanks a million. You're right, I'm very excited! Toronto's not too far away now. The last two years have flown being honest. My first competitive tournament was EYUC 2011, it was a thoroughly enjoyable week. You learn a huge amount being immersed in the sport for that amount of time. After EYUC I was lucky enough to become involved on a club level with Rebel Ultimate. 2012 brought with it the opportunity to compete at Junior Level again; I was thrilled to be selected again to represent Ireland at the World Championships and given the honour to captain the Junior Women on home turf. Now heading into the Summer of 2013 I'm lucky enough to be heading to Toronto and Cologne with U23 and Junior's respectively. It's mad!

Your partnership with Leanne O'Neill is something of a local legend at Irish Junior level, however she couldn't commit fully to the U23s season and very unfortunately had to drop out. How are you finding playing without her for the first time?
Playing without Leanne is different to say the least. In the past two years I don't think we've ever strayed too far from each other on the pitch. Some might call it a touch of 'tunnel vision'. Fortunately this U23 team couldn't have provided a better base of players to adjust with. I'm really enjoying getting to know all the players as individuals and seeing us beginning to gel as a unit.

And how have you found the transition to an U23 setup so far? How does it differ from what you're used to?
Challenging. With Juniors there's always a majority of new recruits here everyone is an established player. Things are more specific so we always learn something new that will improve us in certain roles. So that's different to Juniors where you can find yourself in lots of different positions. It's a more generalised training.

You play your club ultimate with Rebel and have traveled to Windmill Windup with them in the past. What was your impression of this unique tournament and the atmosphere around it?
Windmill was all that it was made out to be; lot's of craic and a high level of ultimate.

Have you been to UK Tour events as well? Or will Mixed Tour be your first exposure to the UK ultimate scene?
I have indeed; played Mixed Tour with Rebel Ultimate last year. So I'm looking forward to getting to play the likes of Thundering Herd and Bear Cavalry again.

Outside of ultimate you're fairly active with Gaelic sports and you have competed at an inter-county level for Cork. How have your teams performed in past championships/leagues?
With Cork Camogie we didn't having a great run of things in the two years I was there. Losing to Galway and Tipperary in the Munster and All Ireland series. In regards Club and school we were more successful at an All-Ireland, Munster and county level. 2010 turned out to be quite the year! Inniscarra Camogie Club won both the Junior and Senior County Championships. The Seniors then went on to win the Munster title soon after but lost to a better side in the big final. Colaiste Choilm managed to pip them to the post taking all three honours that year. It was an amazing journey and I was so fortunate to be a part of such a talented group of players! Since then it's been hard to keep the momentum going. My last year in Colaiste Choilm has been full of mixed emotion; losing both Camogie and Football Munster Finals was heartbreaking but it's been such an amazing five years I can't complain.

Will we be seeing you on any senior Football/Camogie teams in the future playing in Croke Park and the likes?
Oh dear, I don't know! I'll just have to see what the next few years bring.

Returning to Ultimate for a moment; You're part of the Junior Women's team going to Cologne and you've just had your first training weekend. How did it go? How is the team looking, or is it too early to say?
I'll admit I was nervous heading to our first training with so many players leaving, I just didn't know what to expect. My fears were quickly alayed though. The team seems to be really athletic and took everything on board. I'm really looking forward to the season ahead.

Who do you want to play against most in Toronto and Cologne? Any personal grudge matches from the last 2 years?
For Cologne it's simple really. Czech Republic and GB. In the last two years we've come tantalisingly close to them both, I'd love to be in with another chance! At U23s I'd love to play Canada at home. Also Colombia are a team of such spirit and skill that I think it would be impossible not to enjoy a game against them.

Here is the real question everyone wants answered: Where will you be in college next year?! All this changing of your college application is awful confusing for would-be teammates!
I wish I knew myself! I'm quite an indecisive person so having such a broad choice doesn't really suite. At the moment I'm thinking a general Science degree in UCC to keep my options open in the future. But then again I could change my mind tomorrow. September should be fun!

Lastly, make us laugh
Two atoms were walking across a road when one of them said: "I think I
lost an electron!"
"Really" the other said. "Are you sure?"
"I'm absolutely positive!"

Apparently everyone has heard it?

Thanks for your time Caitlin. Best of luck with the Leaving Cert andyour multiple summer campaigns

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