World News – AU – Niamh McEvoy looks to All-Ireland fame before heading Down Under


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This month should be a relaxing one for Niamh McEvoy, an opportunity to put her feet up and reflect on an adventurous year that included A Charm Playing Australian Rules with Melbourne Demons. Instead, she’s here, masked, talking to a laptop on Dublin’s virtual media night, preparing for an All-Ireland final five days before Christmas. A few days later she returns to Australia. So much for a relaxing month.

After she and Sinéad Goldrick helped Dublin complete their three-pack last year and both players subsequently received All Stars, the couple headed to Melbourne to get a taste of the professional sporting life in Australia’s Football League.

They had soon embarked on a successful season for the club and were preparing for their final series game against Cora Staunton’s Greater Western Sydney Giants in March when . . . . you know yourself. After the world was closed, the club advised them to go home. The season was finally canceled.

« It was disappointing for both of us not to have the opportunity to finish it, » says the 30-year-old. « But Melbourne were so good at having our best interests in mind that they sent us both home before the game when I’m sure they would have liked to keep their squad together. « . But they cared about the players and less about the competition, just like Mick [Bohan, the Dublin manager] here. ”

But that was the impact the couple had. Both have been invited for the 2021 season, which starts at the end of January. For now, however, McEvoy is only thinking of a football code. « My only focus is on Gaelic football and what lies ahead of me this week. So AFLW is right in the back of your mind. « .

« It was a big decision for me and Sinéad to leave because we are very invested in this group of [Dublin] players. After leaving something so special here, we wanted to give it our all in Australia, but Gaelic football will always be my first love and the girls I play with are almost like sisters at this point.

« But I wouldn’t have gone to Melbourne if there weren’t any similarities with the Dublin group. And of course it has that connection to Dublin GAA through Jim Stynes ​​[the late Dubliner who had a brilliant career with Melbourne] that made it special for us. When we were there, Brian, Jim’s brother [who won All Ireland in 1995 with Dublin before joining Melbourne], was so good to us that he took us to his home several times and talked to us about the AFL to come from an ATM background.

“The big difference is the brand. If you catch a marker over there you stop immediately – if you did this Mick would kill you, ”she laughs. “We were taught that when you catch the ball, you keep playing. For them it was very unpredictable, there was overlap, etc.. and scoring opportunities. It turns out that if an Irish girl plays now that she’ll keep playing, she won’t stop. ”

There will be a stop at Croke Park on Sunday as the Malahide native goes for her fifth Senior All Ireland medal. After playing in front of a record 56th audience last year. 114 spectators, she insists that the empty stadium doesn’t bother her, even though it’s strange. « Some of us older girls would be used to playing in empty stadiums. So there is nothing to worry about, « she laughs. « The crowds that aren’t there didn’t take the championship away from us at all. I don’t think any focus is lost there. It feels absolutely the same. « . And Croke Park has the best surface in the country, so we don’t want to play anywhere else. ”

Your partner has a busy weekend ahead of them too, he’s Dean Rock. “I laughed, he spent media night with Dublin and it was the first time he was asked about me. That just goes to show that women’s football has grown a bit over the past few years so that a man is asking a question about us, ”she says.

« But it’s always a relaxed vibe, mostly on his side, he’s a very relaxed type of character. That’s good for me and it rubs off sometimes. We have been in this situation many times over the past few years, we really enjoy it. Fortunately, we’ve been training on the same evenings over the past few weeks so we can really enjoy our football and enjoy each other too. So yeah, a big weekend for both of us. « If it works, you will have 12 All Ireland medals between you. A power couple, if there ever was one.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, Gaelic Athletic Association, Gaelic Football, Dublin

World News – AU – Niamh McEvoy looks to All-Ireland fame before heading down under


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