Geary keeping her options open after 'extremely difficult' retirement

Geary keeping her options open after 'extremely difficult' retirement

By Peter McNamara

Originally, this piece was detailed to pay homage to the sterling inter-county camogie career of Anna Geary.

Countless individual honours and medals, all already well-documented, have been won by the 27-year-old including four senior All-Ireland titles.

However, as we shoot the breeze and discuss sport and, in this case more pertinently, life after sport, it becomes far more obvious that the populous will truly understand Geary, the character, if her plans and ambitions are illustrated.

Geary retired from the inter-county camogie scene earlier this month citing the desire for a career change as the reasoning behind her decision.

Geary keeping her options open after 'extremely difficult' retirementAnna Geary lifts the O'Duffy cup after Cork beat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final in 2014. Pic: Sportsfile.

Of course, it was never going to be easy, yet it was a call she had to make as the allure of exploring new avenues outside of the sport became all-consuming even though it was “extremely difficult to detach from the game at that level”.

Nevertheless, this substantial u-turn in her life is due to take her totally out of her comfort zone which she acknowledges has been of great benefit to her.

“I am an extremely fortunate person and there is never a chance that I will forget that,” she says. “People talk of what they give their sport but camogie has given me even more back.

You see, Geary, by her own admission, is “the ultimate planner, I am meticulously organised”.

Additionally, she admits to feeling a little “scared” by the prospect of breaking away from her ‘routine’ because, work-wise, Geary has nothing at all set in stone for the future.

She does, however, have “irons in the fire” but nothing concrete as yet.

Still, you get the vibe the nervous energy generated from such uncertainty is an element she is feeding off as she seeks new opportunities and horizons.

Geary did her post-grad in PR and Communications, and since 2014 her head was turned by the intriguing nature of the media landscape.

Anna Geary at the launch of the Women's Gaelic Players Association in January. Pic: Sportsfile.

Pretty soon, too, she will hand over the baton that is the Cork Rose to the next incumbent and may do so with a tinge of sadness.

Her time spent in the role was hugely beneficial to her as an individual and as a woman.

Geary is regularly seen nowadays on our TV screens and openly has ambitions to take her involvement in media to the next level.

She says: “There are a couple of options open to me at this point but jumping into anything is a non-runner as I want to really love the next work-related move I make.”

It’s almost as if the Milford clubwoman has found her calling in life via the growing popularity of national camogie and from being the Cork Rose.

Geary now has a profile the envy of many women around the country and it is clear she intends to build upon it in the months and years ahead.

Essentially, she is one of the most ambitious characters in Ireland, male or female.

She is, of course, witty too – at one point she joked about the prospect of taking up residency in Áras an Uachtaráin one day.

In saying that, you wouldn’t bet against the possibility in years to come, either.

“Know your worth, I was told by a shrewd individual some time back, it is vital that you know your own worth as a person,” Geary says.

Geary keeping her options open after 'extremely difficult' retirementAnna Geary (centre) with fellow Cork Camogie players Orla Cotter (left) and Angela Walshat at the RTÉ Sports Awards last year. Pic: Sportsfile.

Geary does but such confidence is never scuppered by the underlying arrogance that betrays others.

She is a wonderful communicator stemming from the fact she is basically a down-to-earth sort, a rare commodity in the circles she frequents these days.

Such self-balance is likely due to the fact Geary has Business and Life Coaching diplomacy skills in her locker also.

Her creative, innovative and dynamic persona is backed up by a steeliness accrued from her many years performing at the highest grades of her chosen code and she wishes to carry those traits into the next chapters in her life.

“Everything has come together for me in these last 18 months or so in particular and I feel mentally ready now for this change of direction," she says.

“Where this new road takes me is anybody’s guess but I am genuinely looking forward to new challenges."

Geary has featured via a range of RTÉ mediums, work she describes as “an absolute privilege” to carry out, and is likely to maintain her association with the national broadcaster if the head honchos in Montrose have any sense.

However, for an executive member of the Women’s GPA, the world is Geary’s oyster.

She may go on to represent one of the most illuminating female figureheads this country has seen and be a role model for many youngsters along the way, but no matter how far her good nature and attitude take her, Geary’s character and core values will ensure she remains as grounded as ever.

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