Neamh Woods: 'Sport has given me the opportunity to travel the world'

Q&A with Neamh Woods, Tyrone senior football captain.

Q: Ambition or talent - which matters more to success?

A: Both are indispensable. Talent alone is not enough; the hard work, commitment and ambition are also needed. If I had to pick one, I would say ambition, as you have to be motivated and driven to strive for success and committed to reaching your goals.

Q. Who is/was your sporting mentor?

A: My father Seamus. He introduced me to Gaelic Football at a very early age and is currently my club manager. He has always been a great source of support and guidance to me over the years. My parents travel all over Ireland to support, there aren't too many games they miss!

Q. What ambitions do you still have?

A: To reach the pinnacle of Ladies Football by winning a TG4 All-Ireland Senior title with Tyrone. Tyrone Ladies have never won the Brendan Martin Cup, they won the junior title in 1999, intermediate in 2018 and the senior All-Ireland is the one missing!

Q. Where are you happiest?

A: When spending time with family and friends. It's the little things in life! During the lockdown I think we have all come to realise how lucky we are to be fit and healthy, and able to spend quality time with our families. With being so used to following a busy training schedule for both football and netball, this is not something I get to do too often.

Q. What’s your guilty pleasure?

A: Food! Everyone is allowed a treat every now and again - my preference is a pizza!

Q. The four people you’d invite to a dinner party?

A: Christy Moore for the music, Tommy Tiernan and Rebel Wilson for the entertainment, and Usain Bolt for inspiration.

Q. If you could pick one superpower, what would it be?

A: I will go with healing powers because I would then be able to help others most in need.

Q. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

A: I would tell my 18-year-old self to enjoy the good days and learn from the setbacks along the way.

Q. The one result you’d change if you could.

A: The 2010 All-Ireland senior final against Dublin. This was Tyrone Ladies’ first ever senior final and for the majority of the squad it was our first experience of playing on All-Ireland Ladies Football Final day. We were completely overawed, the occasion was overwhelming, and we simply didn't perform at anywhere near the level which had enabled us to defeat the great Cork team in the quarter-final, and a formidable Kerry team in the semi-final after a replay. Dublin had experienced defeat in the 2009 All-Ireland final and they were far superior on the day.

Q. A motto you live by?

A: What's meant for you won't pass you by.

Q: One team-mate you’d want to have your back?

A: My club team mate Edel Meenagh - always has my back! I'm glad that we are on the same team!

Q: Best perk of your sport away from the game?

A: The friendships and memories you make along the way which will last a lifetime. Sport has given me the opportunity to travel the world, play at the highest level in both football and netball, and I have made so many great friends over the years.

Q. Out of 10, rate your satisfaction.

A: 9. I appreciate all the experiences and success to date and like any sportsperson, you always want a little bit more!

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