Ciara O’Sullivan: 'If I have an injury, I find it hard to sleep'

'The best piece of advice I’ve gotten is that nothing is too small or insignificant to get checked out'
Ciara O’Sullivan: 'If I have an injury, I find it hard to sleep'

Cork Ladies’ footballer Ciara O’Sullivan says she can not stand lateness or stinginess. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cork Ladies’ footballer Ciara O’Sullivan is in flying form when we meet on Zoom. The 31-year-old, who has eight All-Ireland medals, and is one-quarter of a very successful set of sisters from Mourneabbey, (Róisín, Doireann and Méabh have all lined out for the Cork side over the years), is happy to talk about how she stays in shape during championship season — but she’s even happier to talk about guilty pleasures. Her favourite is the humble Cadbury Creme Egg.

“I can’t even tell you how many I could eat in a day,” she says, wide-eyed.

“Thankfully we’re coming to the stage of the year where they’re gone out of the shops again. If I go into a shop, I rarely leave without one.”

    • Ciara O’Sullivan has partnered with SuperValu for its #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign.

Do you have a morning routine?

At the moment, it’s fairly basic because I’m still working from home. I get up, get dressed and have breakfast — two Weetabix every morning. I have a weird thing where I have to put them in separately because I hate it when they get soggy — so it’s one at a time. Then I brush my teeth and I am at the desk for the day.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

We get meals every week from SuperValu that are fresh and easy to cook. The easy-to-cook bit is very important for me because I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a good cook. Having those for dinner every day is probably my healthiest habit.

What would keep you awake at night?

Generally, I sleep quite well. But, if I have an injury, I find it hard to sleep because I am overthinking. I’m wondering how long I’ll be out for, how bad is it, ‘what do I need to be doing?’ And it’s all counterproductive because what I need to be doing is sleeping. That will help the injury recover better than anything.

How do you relax?

Going for walks and to the cinema with my friends. During championship season, you can’t really go on holidays, you can’t go on nights out, so for most of the year, it is the little things.

Who are your sporting heroes?

Growing up, it was Juliet Murphy. I just idolised her. I was lucky enough to get to play with her. They say ‘don’t meet your heroes’ but for me, she definitely lived up to it. I love Ronan O’Gara as well. I always have. I took it badly when Johnny Sexton came on the scene.

What is your favourite smell?

I love the smell of freshly cut grass. Not that I’d ever cut it myself...

When was the last time you cried?

What stands out is January, when we lost the club All- Ireland final. But if you asked my family, they’d have a much more recent one. I cry every second day, I am quite emotional.

What is the best health advice you’ve ever been given?

I’ve had friends and relatives younger than me, who have been diagnosed with cancer and thankfully are OK now because they got it treated and checked early. So, for me, the best piece of advice I’ve gotten and I pass on to people is that nothing is too small or insignificant to get checked out.

What traits do you least like in others?

Stinginess. I find it hard to get past that. And lateness.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

My lack of patience.

Do you pray?

Yes, selfishly. I pray when someone is sick, or when I want to win a match. I pray when I want something rather than on a day-to-day basis.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Serena Williams, Katie Taylor and Donncha O’ Callaghan.

What would cheer you up on a bad day?

WhatsApp groups. The memes and the banter. Some of the stuff that goes into our Mourneabbey LFC group would have me in tears.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

I would say Dubai. I don’t know if it is necessarily my favourite place, but I went on holiday with a gang of, I think, eight girls, and just had such a brilliant time. I haven’t been back since but I’d love to, it was definitely my favourite holiday.

What quote inspires you and why?

Enzo Calaghe: ‘Fight like a champion, train like a challenger.’

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