Cora Staunton eyes perfect parting gift with Carnacon

The big events are coming thick and fast for Cora Staunton.

Captains, Cora Staunton of Carnacon, left, and Bríd O'Sullivan of Mourneabbey, with the Dolores Tyrrell Memorial Cup today. Pic: Sportsfile

Last Saturday night, it was a trip to Dublin where she collected a record-equalling 11th All-Star award to draw level with Kerry’s Mary Jo Curran atop the roll of honour.

Next Tuesday she boards a plane for Australia to commence a new adventure with Great Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Rules Women’s League.

Before that, on Sunday, she will be central figure in Carnacon’s quest for a sixth All-Ireland Club title when they face Cork’s Mourneabbey in Parnell Park (3.40pm, TG4 live).

“I’m flying out the Tuesday after the All-Ireland. There’s an agreement with the club, if it went to a replay, I’d be staying at home for it. Its been a bit hectic in that regard. I’m meant to be out there since November 10 — that’s when my contract started.

“The club in Sydney have been very good so I wouldn’t be going over until the club championship finished. Tuesday evening I’ll be flying off, please God, with an All-Ireland club medal in the back pocket.”

With the 2018 AFL Women’s season coming to an end next April, there is an anticipation Staunton will extend her remarkable inter-county career into a 24th season.

However, with her move abroad set to pose a massive physical challenge, the 11-time All-Star isn’t making any decisions about her future with Mayo just yet.

“I can’t make any decision because physically, I don’t know what shape I’m going to be in coming home.You can say, ‘yeah, you should be in better shape, you’re going out to a professional environment’, but next week it will be 12 months of the season done.

“We’ve a new management team there as well so I wouldn’t be making any decisions until I come back.”

Staunton will be appearing in her ninth All-Ireland club final on Sunday, and will be facing a Mourneabbey outfit that are seeking to add a senior crown to the junior and intermediate titles they secured in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

It will actually be the first time that Carnacon will have played the Cork club, and while there are several county players on both squads, Staunton admits that they are heading into the unknown to a certain extent.

“Obviously we don’t know much about Mourneabbey. I’m sure they’re the same about us. We probably know a bit more about their established stars, Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan, and Brid [O’Sullivan] as well. One or two more, like Eimear Meaney, who play with the Cork team. You’ll review video tapes, and try to get as much information on the team as you can. Obviously watch the club All-Ireland in ’14 or ’15, when Mourneabbey were in it. You learn from that, but really all we can do, and we have all year, is focus on our own game. Trying to get things right.”


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