Ireland international soccer player Louise Quinn is having a ball as a fully signed up member of the Arsenal women’s team.
“The facilities are fantastic. The high-performance gym is incredible — it’s by far one of the best gyms I’ve ever been in,” says the 29-year-old Blessington, Co Wicklow native.
The recently-crowned Women’s Super League Champion also appreciates the encouragement of the club’s elite male players.
“A while ago we went out for dinner with goalkeeper Petr Cech — a legend. He’s a massive supporter of the team and he has daughters — he realises that we work just as hard and we train just as much as the men’s team.”
Louise was in Dublin recently to support the second phase of Three’s 20x20, a national initiative for women in sport, highlighting the impact of ‘seeing’ and ‘being’ role models, and the essential part they play in getting women and girls into sport.
What shape are you in?
I like to think that I’ve a good fitness level. In general, we’d have a game on Sunday. The next day involves going into the training ground and doing a recovery session, including an ice bath.
Tuesday is my day off — I go to a hot yoga class, the hips aren’t what they used to be. Wednesday and Thursday are quite similar — we’d come in around 9am, go into the gym do some pre-activation training.
Then we spend about an hour and a half training on the pitch training. After lunch, we’re in the gym for an hour. On Saturdays, we do a pre-game training session, from 9am to 12 noon.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I’m a massive lover of food — it’s what’s going to get me through a full week’s training and a match. I make sure to have a good breakfast in the morning — porridge and eggs to set me up for the day. Thankfully, we get lunch at the training ground, that’s obviously quality food.
I love to cook my dinner. I make sure I get different varieties of protein in — chicken, beef, pork. I make vegan and vegetarian dishes too. I love trying out new things. My mam and dad are brilliant in the kitchen — I’ve definitely learned from them.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
I’ll have coffee during the day and tea at night and it’s hard for me not to have a little nibble to go along with that. I’m quite fond of dark chocolate but if I was to have a choice I’d eat Lindt chocolate every day. And Nutella — I’d slather it on anything.
What would keep you awake at night?
I sleep soundly. I would try to get in at least eight hours. Before I go to bed I make a snack — a mix of yoghurt, fruit and peanut butter. The protein is good as a little recovery food as well. I try and make it Instagrammable but it’s not too successful.
How do you relax?
Hot yoga is a relatively new thing for me but I’ve really come to love it. Then, it would be with a couple of my friends on the team coming over, watching a movie, making dinner. I have a bit of study I like to do as well. At the moment, it’s a personal training course — something I could possibly do afterwards.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I would love to sit down and have a chat with Sonia O’Sullivan; Michael Owen, I’m a Liverpool fan and I idolised him when I was younger; and Ellen DeGeneres for laughs.
What’s your favourite smell?
Freshly ground coffee. Even if I’ve already had my three cups of coffee I’d go into a coffee shop just to have a sniff around.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
Unfortunately, I already have a lot of grey hairs — it’s in my genes. You just get to go to the hairdresser for a colour and pamper yourself — it’s kind of blonde and hides the grey.
When is the last time you cried?
I would have had an emotional time after we won the Women’s Super League in April.
What traits do you least like in others?
Being dishonest. I’m a very honest person and I like people who are honest with themselves and with other people.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
I’m a little bit hard on myself. I would beat myself up about certain situations and maybe let it linger too long. I need to move on and get on with it.
Do you pray?
What would cheer up your day?
A coffee. I have my own Nespresso machine and milk foamer at home, so I’m turning into a barista.