Eleven-time All-Ireland winner with Cork, Brid Stack, has announced her retirement from inter-county football. In an interview in Monday’s Examiner Sport the 32 year old, who is one of an elite quartet to win 11 All-Ireland senior medals, confirmed she will only play club football in 2019.
The 2016 Ladies Footballer of the Year played every minute of the 11 successful deciders at Croke Park and admitted: “You’d love to do it all over again. It went by in a fecking flash. But life moves on. There is still a great team and they're well capable of recapturing an All-Ireland. The future is good. Ladies football is a great spectacle now.
"There’s a ladies team in nearly every GAA club, whereas we were all fired in with the boys in Rockchapel when I was 12. Looking back, that’s what stood to us. It toughen you up.
“I'm moving on with the best memories, stories and friendships that will last me a lifetime.”
Player of the match in the 2007 final against Mayo, Stack joined Deirdre O’Reilly, Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley on 11 medals in 2106. She paid tribute to colleagues she soldiered with since teenagers and to legendary Cork coach Eamonn Ryan.
“When we came on the scene in 2004-05, you had a group of girls of a similar mindset. We were all very intrinsically motivated and honesty was at the core of a lot of our upbringings. And guiding us was Eamonn Ryan, who believes only in honesty,” Stack said.
“If you weren’t honest in your efforts he would spot it straight away. He has a lovely way about him, but he would just be quieter with you and you just knew. You sensed it.
“He wasn’t one to pull you aside often, so when he did, you remembered it. The morning of All-Ireland finals was the only time he would bring the backs and forwards together. After breakfast, he’d call the backs to the room. Even that would have your heart beating. You’d be fit to be tied inside in that room. The forwards came in after, and we’d meet them going in with our eyes reddened.”
Stack has taken a career break from teaching to start a health and sports supplements business, mycoresupplements.ie., with her husband Carthach Keane and his two brothers. Changing priorities meant she wasn’t hopping out the door to training as much anymore.
“For the last 11 years, we’d maybe two months off any year, and every winter you were back earlier to keep up. You wouldn’t change it for anything. Unreal stuff. But there comes that time. Priorities change.
I often think of that Galway team we beat in the first final. I’d be fierce friends with some of them, and they’re still waiting for that All-Ireland. They’re still trying to get to the last Sunday of the season. In fact, 2005 was their last final. I have huge regard for them. How do you keep going year in year out if you’re not knocking at the door every season?