Noreen Coen Q&A: 'My sister and brother enhanced my competitive streak at home'

Q&A with Athenry and Galway star Noreen Coen.
Noreen Coen Q&A: 'My sister and brother enhanced my competitive streak at home'
Noreen Coen of Galway in action against Kilkenny's Michelle Teehan last year. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Noreen Coen of Galway in action against Kilkenny's Michelle Teehan last year. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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

A. I believe the two are intertwined. It was always my ambition to play for Galway at the highest level but obviously a certain degree of talent is required to make that happen. Talent will only go so far but at adult level ambition drive and determination outweighs talent.

Q. Who is/was your sporting mentor?

A. My family always had a huge influence on me. My father started me off playing when I was 6 years old. My sister and brother enhanced my competitive streak at home and my mother roared from the sideline! My partner and my brother-in-law have had a positive influence on me in recent years. Numerous coaches at club level have also had a huge influence on me throughout the years.

Q. What ambitions do you still have?

A. To win another All-Ireland senior title with the current squad.

Q. Where are you happiest?

A. Spending time with family and friends. With sport being paused over the past few months, I have been able to spend a lot more time with my parents which I value. I have a niece and two nephews that bring so much fun and enjoyment to my life - there is never a dull moment! I am also extremely fortunate to have a great network of friends.

Q. What’s your guilty pleasure?

A. Chocolate!! Every year I give it up for lent. Embarrassingly I set my alarm for 12.01am on Holy Thursday to devour my Cadburys caramel Easter egg. For anyone who isn’t aware lent finishes on Holy Thursday!

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

A. Michael Jordan – because I am obsessed after watching ‘The Last Dance’. Rory’s Stories for the craic. Beyoncé for the sing-song after and Brian O’Driscoll because everybody loves BOD!!

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

A. Slow down time – I am getting too old too quickly!!

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

A. Be yourself. Do not be worrying about how people perceive you both on and off the field. Do not dwell on the negatives, dust yourself down and move on.

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

A. The Senior Club All-Ireland final in 2009. We were beaten by Cashel by two points. They had beaten us significantly two years previously. In 2009 we had won our fourth consecutive county title. We were a very close-knit group. We felt we had a great chance that year. But unfortunately, injuries, weather conditions and missed chances meant that it was not our day.

Q. A motto you live by?

A. Treat others how you would like to be treated.

Q: One teammate you’d want to have your back?

A. Niamh Hanniffy- A tough woman but says it how it is. To get a compliment from this girl is a privilege and a half!! Similar characteristics with Therese Maher and Ann-Marie Hayes in previous years.

Q: Your manager’s on a lie detector, what’s the first question you ask him?

A. Applicable to all managers - Why is the corner forward always the first one to go???

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

A. Learning to be disciplined and resilient. The lifelong friendships created. The All-Stars Tour to New York last year was a major highlight also! (Cheers Michelle Quilty and the Camogie Association for the nod)

Q. Out of 10, rate your satisfaction

A. Generally, I am a happy person, I’m happy in my work, in my relationship and in my sport.

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