Covid-19 victim Catherine Cronin admits the lull in football has her craving for the new Women’s national league season.
The DLR Waves captain has been a constant in the domestic league since its inception in 2011 but suffered a major health scare in March when diagnosed with coronavirus shortly after the pandemic arrived in Ireland.
As a frontline worker at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, the radiology nurse was exposed and unfortunately become one of the people affected by the virus.
Similar to her former team-mate Siobhán Killeen, however, Cronin overcame the virus following a 14-day period of self-isolation and is relishing the start of the new campaign.
Her DLR side contest the first game of a new split campaign on Saturday week away to Galway United.
“I had various symptoms, all the typical ones like sore throat, cough and generally feeling very tired with headaches,” explained the experienced campaigner about her ordeal.
“Thankfully I managed fine at home and was able to self-isolate. I’m lucky to be fit and healthy; I’d be more worried for the vulnerable and unwell. I still had to take my time and build myself back up for work and training.
“It’s been a difficult period for everybody but I’ve feel in a privileged position going into work helping patients. We’re still doing procedures if people are starting treatment, the likes of putting lines in. It was nice to feel you’re doing my part.
“At the busiest times when the case numbers were up around the country, there was that more exposure. With the figures thankfully coming down, hopefully it will stay that way and we’re able to start and finish the season.
“The break made us appreciate football that bit more. There was a spell when we didn’t know if we’d be back at all this year, so it’s great we know the season is starting.” After last year season of consolidation under new managers Graham Kelly and John Sullivan, Cronin wants to see progress this term.
“It’s going to be different with the two phases,” she said.
“We’ve a good blend of youth and experience, so our first goal is to be in the top phase by the split in October after each team has faced each other once."