CM – Orla O’Dwyer is living a sporting dream on the other side of the world

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Tipperarys Orla O’Dwyer (left) in action against Anne Corcoran from Waterford with Mary Ryan (right) from Premier County in support. Photo by: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile

Orla O’Dwyer of the Lions celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the AFLW’s second preliminary final against Collingwood

Michael Verney

Orla O ‘ Dwyer watched helplessly from a Brisbane hotel last November when Tipperary scored Galway in the All-Ireland Camogie semifinals, but she’s exactly where she wants to be for tomorrow’s rematch between the two.

The tip- Ace is always in the middle of the white lines, so the clash was a particularly “tough watch” as the Premier fell six points and were quick to wonder whether or not they could have helped to make up for this deficit.

She had plenty of time to ponder anything and everything while completing her mandatory 14-day quarantine as she returned Down Under to continue her AFLW career with the Brisbane Lions in their maiden season on had a massive influence.

Considering the fact that she is an avowed “late bloomer”, the story of the native Rosegreen is downright sensational. Standing out in one sport is special, but three is extraordinary, and their accomplishments hit a whole new stratosphere in April.

Her double-star exploits have been known since her late teens, but it is remarkable to venture to another hemisphere – she was actually born in Sydney and has an Australian passport that makes traveling easier – before mastering a foreign game is remarkable.

The oval ball was O’Dwyer’s only focus while enjoying the pre-season season on Australia’s east coast, and she took her new position on the wing – one of the toughest positions in the Australian rules – like a duck in the water on the way to a grand finale.

After them Having won two All-Ireland Intermediate Crowns (2017 and ’19) with Tipperary’s footballers on the biggest stage, O’Dwyer was far from overwhelmed by the big occasion when she was became only the second Irish to join Clares Ailish Considine to land the AFLW title with her loss to the Adelaide Crows overcame adversity about 16,000 km away in order to gain the upper hand next to her “second family”.

“Of course I was a bit homesick and it was difficult at the beginning,” O’Dwyer tells the Irish Independent.

« I got a game I’d never played before and it was a bit of a culture shock to be the one who messes up exercises and messes everything up.

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« I didn’t know how to kick the ball when I first got out of here, I didn’t know any of the rules and going this far from home was a little daunting and a little unsettling. They stayed with me, however, and I stayed with the game and I absolutely love it now. Winning a Grand Final has exceeded my wildest dreams, if I’m honest. ”

O’Dwyer, who runs her club trade with the Boherlahan-Dualla footballers as well as cashel camogie at home, has been awarded for her Efforts were rewarded with second place in Brisbane’s Best and Fairest Awards, but that came as no surprise to those who know her best.

When it comes to sports, she was « definitely a slow starter » who got into various Tip development teams were regularly in the ranks in B and C teams before finally climbing the ranks through dedication and relentless stubbornness.

« I was never the gifted athlete, » reveals O’Dwyer, as the symmetry highlighted with another famous tip athlete.

O’Dwyer sparked it in Australia around the same time that Killenaule-born Rachael Blackmore was pushing the boundaries of what female jockeys could do with her record breaking successes in Cheltenham and Aintree.

Both have caught the attention of a nation – and aspiring young women in particular – for their athletic achievements, and she congratulates TG4 for once again breaking the block by televising the exploits of the 14-strong Irish cohort who does her thing down under.

However, her passion for women’s football and camogie remains unbroken and her thoughts quickly returned to blue and gold. when the festivities fell silent. Her semi-professional trip to Oz was interrupted again when she turned back to her county’s bread and butter.

O’Dwyer smiles at the thought of her « chasing the sun » by having the best of both worlds , replacing the harsh Irish winters with a much sunnier climate, while their return home coincides with a rise in temperature as spring merges into summer.

By the time they arrived, the heat in the Tip dressing room was certainly cranked up and The 23-year-old loves nothing more than to reintegrate into both squads, although this weekend has raised another mystery that brings her and her colleague into conflict with double star Róisín Howard.

For the soccer players they were running Things not exactly going according to plan as they face a relegation final across Ireland against Tyrone in Kinnegad this afternoon, but this couple have been forced to make the tough decision of, “on putting Camogie first this weekend. ”

It’s the latest in a string of no-win situations for O’Dwyer when it comes to balancing loyalties, but tomorrow will be her Camogie debut at Croke Park as she becomes more familiar with marquee fixings regardless of the discipline.

Tipperary Camogie has made tremendous strides in recent seasons under Bill Mullaney, and O’Dwyer is longing for a place in the All-Ireland Finals after knocking on the door with her tight Division 1 League semi-final reversal against Kilkenny in June, yet another sign of her rude health.

« We’ve been in the top four for a while but we’d love to Make further improvements and move into the top 2. We feel like we’re getting closer and closer. We knocked on the door and hopefully we can break through soon, « says O’Dwyer.

With the AFLW set to expand for the sixth year of its existence next season, O’Dwyer will continue to mix and match as long as the circumstances Allow her, and she will fly to Brisbane quickly once the season is over to begin her third year with the Lions.

« I don’t know how long it will work when the seasons change don’t overlap too much, but I’ll keep doing it for as long as it works for both, « she says of living out her dreams on opposite sides of the world.

After her third year in Sports and Irish at University of Limerick has moved twice, she plans to start a business degree outside of AFLW in her spare time.

There seems to be little she can’t achieve in any area, but the only focus for now is Tipperary camouflage.

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