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Preview of this afternoon’s TG4/O’Neills Allstar exhibition game in Toronto
An Fear Rua
All-Ireland winning Cork Ladies Football captain Amy O’Shea is hopeful of an early comeback to competitive action having been sidelined since suffering a serious knee injury in the championship decider against Monaghan last September.
The Inch Rovers star is committed to playing play some part in this afternoon’s TG4/O’Neills Allstar exhibition game between the 2010 and 2011 squads in Toronto, knowing that a positive response could see her returning to the Rebelettes set-up sooner than expected.
Injured early the second half when contesting a high ball, she knew ‘instantly’ that it was all over for her. “I tried to play on but I couldn’t put any weight through my leg. I would have liked to finish on the field and that’s always going to be one of my great disappointments, but it was a huge honour for me to lift the cup that day,’’ she recalled.
“Rehab is never-ending when it comes to your knees but I’m very happy with the way things are going. I feel good and fit now and I’ll approach the next step with a positive attitude and see where that takes me. Hopefully the Allstar trip will stand to me if I get a couple of minutes under my belt. “I’m available to play in the game and obviously I’d love to take part in some part of it. It’s going to be a tough and fair but not extremely physical!’’
She informed the Cork management at the start of the year that she was ‘stepping out’ of inter-county football, but is close to being able to change her mind. “I’d love to get back in, but I’m not making any decisions until I know how I react.’’
For Ladies Football President Pat Quill, the tour is a win-win situation, in terms of providing an exhibition of the best skills of their game and availing of the opportunity for coaching both at under-age and adult level, along with referee tutoring.
“The tour is about spreading the gospel and a wonderful reward for our players. Without the sponsorship of O’Neills and TG4, they wouldn’t be here. All our Allstar games are played a high standard. The girls are out to show why they are the best in Ireland,’’ he commented.
“Canada is one of those countries where ladies football is growing rapidly. Clubs here provide a wonderful service for girls who leave Ireland and come here. It’s a great comfort for parents to know that when their son or daughter links up with a GAA club they are looked after in a safe environment.
The other aspect is the Canadian girls and other nationalities who are now playing the game and who absolutely love it.’’
2010: E. Murphy (Kerry),R. Ruddy (Dublin), L. Muckian (Laois), S. McLaughlin (Tyrone), S. McGrath (Dublin), B. Stack (Cork), G. Fay (Dublin), D. Masterson (Dublin), T. Lawlor (Laois), C. Donnelly (Tyrone), G. Begley (Tyrone), A. McGuinness (Dublin), Y. McMonagle (Donegal), S. Aherne (Dublin), J. Donnelly (Tyrone), A. Tighe (Leitrim), C. Hegarty (Donegal), B. Breen (Kerry), N. Keane (Clare), M. Ryan (Waterford), A. Doherty (Toronto), A. Gallant (Toronto), C. Murphy (Toronto).
2011: I. Munnelly (Meath), G. McNally (Monaghan), S. Courtney (Monaghan), D. O’Reilly (Cork), B. Corkery (Cork), A. Leonard (Kerry), G. O’Flynn (Cork), J. Murphy (Cork), A. Holton (Kildare), T. McNally (Monaghan), E. Kelly (Dublin), M. Kirwan (Laois), C. McAnespie (Monaghan), R. Ni Bhuachalla (Cork), L. Ni Mhuircheartaigh (Kerry), S. Goldrick (Dublin), C. Reilly (Monaghan), F. Mahon (Meath), A. O’Shea (Cork), A. Doonan (Cavan), E. Loughnane (Toronto), S. Ó Muiri (Toronto), A. Nault (Toronto).
Referee: Keith Delahunty (Tipperary).
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