Hey Caoimhe, all well? Relaxing after the exams no doubt...
Hi there, I'm getting back up to speed after exams now, no rest for the wicked and all that.
Congrats on getting on the team, tell us how the whole experience has been for you since the trials last year.
Thanks. I've never played for Ireland in the mixed division before, so this season has really been a new experience for me. I really enjoyed the trial; it was nice to play some ultimate at that intense level. I'm really adjusting to the mixed division this season and I'm hoping I can do a good job. I've already learned that you need to be way louder as a girl on a mixed team to play alongside the lads!
You're currently the main handler for the Trinity College women's team, a team with a lot of history and prestige. How did you get involved in the team initially?
I first signed up because a friend of mine had played on the junior open team the previous summer and kept saying how much fun it was and how amazing the tournament had been, so I promised I'd sign up come Fresher's week. I think Heather Barry was a role model as captain that year, she was amazing on the pitch and so enthusiastic the rest of the time, I think she played a really big part in me continuing to play.
This season didn't go to plan with UCC stepping up their game big time to take the Ladies IVs titles in Indoors and Outdoors. What do you think will need to change for next year?
UCC deserve a lot of respect and congratulations for their victory this year, they put so much work in over the last few years working to become such a huge force in ultimate this year. I think they really deserved to win and I hope that next year we can up our game to match them in terms of recruitment, fitness and discipline and take back the trophy.
This will be your second time playing at the U23 level, having played in the Women's division in Florence. How did that week pan out for you personally?
Florence was a tough week emotionally for me, my grandmother passed away on the evening of the opening ceremony and I really had to push myself to make sure I was 100% focused when it came to game time. It was hard, and I had to remind myself of how proud she was that I was going to wear an Ireland jersey and I tried to play for her. I really learned that week that there will always be other stuff going on, but when it comes to game time, you need to prove why you're on the team.
What was/were the main thing(s) you took away from that season?
I think I learned an awful lot during that season, having only been playing a few months when the team started training. Doyler was a fantastic coach, I'm glad we could win a few matches for him. I don't think I could fully appreciate just how much I learned during that season at the time, but I think the main thing I took from that season was knowing that I had the chance to be a great player if I put the work in.
You took these lessons and applied them with immediate impact, evidently, making the Women's team that went to EUC in Slovenia. How did you find the step up in competition from U23 to Senior level?
There was definitely a big step up in skill level from U23 to the senior women's team, honestly I surprised myself when I made the team! I think having trained with quite a few of the other squad members throughout the year on LMS it became slightly less intimidating. It was a season to try and explore my potential as a player. Being one of the younger members of the team I really just tried not to let the team down and to use the experience to learn as much as I could from playing with such a talented team at such a high level.
That Women's team was full of talent and featured a lot of players from LMS, your current club. Is there anyone on either squad that you look up to and want to play more like?
There are a lot of great players on both squads, I could bore you listing most of the teams in this paragraph saying how wonderful they are, so I'll keep it to three. Liz is a dominating handler, I admire how she beasts her way through zones. She was incredibly reliable throughout the EUC season and as a cutter I found her presence on the pitch really reassuring. Yvonne is a fantastic handler and it was a shame she was injured when we beat GB on our first day in EUC. Luckily she's also an LMS player, so she can still inspire me at training. And last but by no means least, our captain that season Laura is phenomenal. She is such a great athlete and skilled ultimate player. She was absolutely an inspiration during the EUC season on and off the pitch.
Outside of Ultimate you have the reputation for being an unreal baker. Can the team expect a Irish themed cake to rival that of your past creations? Or would that just be wishful thinking...?
Haha, thanks! I really enjoy baking and I have to say the thought had crossed my mind to make a cake for the team! I'm not sure when for, but I've had a few ideas, maybe something inspired by the jerseys this year. It would be pretty fun to make a cake for team Ireland.
With Windmill in 4 weeks and Toronto not long after that, who do you look forward to playing the most in the upcoming tournaments?
I'm particularly looking forward to Windmill Windup because the last time I was supposed to go the girls beat GB and I missed it sadly. I always look forward to playing GB, because the games are so hard fought and closely contested. I'm looking forward to playing the North American teams, for their great athleticism and skill, and Japan because they have such a unique style of play that's very different to what teams usually play in Europe.
Lastly, tell us a joke.
-Listen I'm terrible at jokes, can I just make you a cake instead?
Yeah... Maybe stick to the ultimate and baking. Thanks for your time and best of luck in the next 10 weeks!