It’s hard to become a Cork GAA superstar and All-Star winner before the age of 20 without being a tad competitive, and footballer Erika O’Shea admits she has no shortage of the personality trait.
“I’m very competitive. I think there’s a level of competitiveness you need, but sometimes I’m just too competitive — I need to remember it’s just a game,” she says, ahead of the 2023 Championship season.
Currently splitting her time between north Melbourne in Australia, where she plays Aussie Rules (AFLW) and her home county, where she kits out for the Rebels, the Macroom native jokes that her previous success on the Cork senior team might also be partly down to a pre-game family ritual.
“My mam is very holy — she goes to mass every Sunday. There’s a saying that if you go to a new church you get a new wish, so the first year I was on the Cork team we’d go to a new church every week before a game, and wish that the match went well for Cork — we did that for a whole year straight,” she says, adding that they’ve run out of churches in Cork.
“Hopefully, someone will build a few more for us for this season,” she laughs.
- Cork ladies footballer Erika O’Shea is part of the #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign run by SuperValu, sponsors of this year’s GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. The campaign aims to promote greater diversity and inclusion.
I’d obviously go training a lot with the Cork seniors, but if I wasn’t training I’d definitely be going for runs. I always keep active, even if that’s helping with the local club, with a few drills with the younger girls training.
Food. When I’m in college, going out and having a good time with my friends in local restaurants and getting a bit of food. And dessert, that would be my downfall.
It was when I last came home from Melbourne — I was bawling crying when I met my friends again.
If it was a game day, I get up and kick a ball over the bar at my local club. If I miss a few shots, I know I’ve got the bad ones out before I get onto the field with the team.
If I didn’t train hard enough, and I wasn’t pushing myself.
That will keep me awake at night because I would be thinking someone is working harder.
Just lie in the bath for a couple of hours and chill out, and get a book and just read.
I remember being in the stands watching Orla Finn and Ciara O’Sullivan when I was 16 years old and being in awe of them. Two years later, I was playing alongside them and winning at Croke Park, which was amazing.
A roast dinner.
To know when your body is not able for more training. Listen to your body, if you feel tired or sore just take that time out; it’s not going to affect you as a player if you take a day out from training.
If someone lies to me, I wouldn’t be able to deal with that. Just tell me the truth or don’t say anything.
My mam. Spending time with her when I’m home.
‘Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard enough’. That was one quote that my dad always said to me. Growing up, there were girls with way more talent than me, and I would say that hands down every time, as I got older, I just worked harder, so it’s definitely true.