Mourneabbey’s Eimear Meaney feels the addition of Dublin footballer Noelle Healy has offered an extra dimension to their attacking play in 2019.
An anaesthetist based out of Cork University Hospital, Healy transferred to the All-Ireland champions from St Brigid’s at the beginning of this year.
After being on the receiving end of her piercing runs at county level in recent seasons, Cork defender Meaney is thrilled to count the four-time All-Star amongst her own.
“We were obviously very honoured to have Noelle come to our club. I’m used to chasing her around the pitch with Dublin. Usually I’m cursing her pace, but now I’m just delighted that she can take off with the ball. Noelle has slotted in seamlessly,” Meaney explained ahead of tomorrow’s All-Ireland Ladies Club SFC final clash with Kilkerrin/Clonberne.
“She’s an unbelievable player. It brings a different sense to it. She has possibly a different style of football that she brings, another dimension to it this year. It was really exciting and obviously we welcomed her with open arms. Who would say no to Noelle Healy?
She’s added brilliantly, she’s had some massive games for us on the pitch.
Having suffered final heartache in 2014, ’15 and ’17, the Leesiders finally secured a top-tier national title with an emphatic victory over Foxrock/Cabinteely in Parnell Park last December. Meaney admits this made it easier to knuckle down for another shot at All-Ireland glory.
“It is different coming back, you’re kind of buzzing to get back and regroup. Other years it was a bit more difficult to come back. I think coming into 2018 was probably very hard because we had lost some really tough matches and it had happened a couple of years in a row.
“I think it was difficult to regroup, whereas this year that winning feeling is contagious. You come back and you’re absolutely buzzing. We’re back in a position we wanted to be at the start of the year. It was different, but it’s the same training. It’s the same hard work, it’s the same dedication as the other years. It’s just a different year.”
Whereas tomorrow’s clash in Limerick (throw-in 5pm) will be Mourneabbey’s fifth All-Ireland decider in just six seasons, Kilkerrin/Clonberne will be competing in their maiden senior showpiece.
However, Meaney is quick to play down the significance of their big-game experience.
“We know what it’s like to be hungry and to want to win a final. As much as it will stand to us, the experience we’ve had, they’ve been so close over the last couple of years as well. They’ve got to very late stages in the year,” Meaney acknowledged.
“I don’t think it’s a massive advantage to us really, we have to concentrate on the year that we have this year.
Last year was brilliant and it was massive. It was excellent, but we have to park that now and concentrate on the competition we have.