On Saturday next at a venue to be confirmed old rivals Meath and Dublin will come face in the first round of the LGFA national football league. It is a sign that the season is up and running but for one Carlow player in particular the start of a new league campaign cannot come quickly enough.
Cliodhna Ní Shé had maybe the best season of her career in 2021 when she finished the top scorer across the three grades of Ladies Championship football but wasn’t able to build on that as missed the entire club and intercounty season last year when she succumbed to the dreaded cruciate injury. It was torture for her but she went to as many club and intercounty matches as she possibly could where she stayed involved with friends and fellow players.
It was something she had to do. No way was she shutting herself away from the game.
“There were definitely tough days but I had great support from friends and family. All the girls were brilliant throughout and they helped me through it. Definitely there were days when I didn’t want to do my rehab but there was always someone there to push me on. The drive to get back was strong. I am so young and there was never an issue where I wouldn’t want to get back,” Clíodhna says.
“It was a tough year but it was good to be staying involved with the girls and good having them around me to push me on. It was very challenging and I am definitely glad to see the back of it.
“I had my final test in Santry and am back training with the squad and playing matches. I am hoping to have a good go at the season this year.”
Carlow don’t open their division four campaign until 5 February when London come to Netwatch Cullen Park. After that the Barrowsiders have division four league games against Fermanagh and Antrim.
The recuperated Carlow star forward isn’t concerned that the Division 4 competition doesn’t start until two weeks after the division 1 league games.
“We have a bit of extra time to prepare which is good. We will definitely be raring to go. We would play next week if we could. We are training hard and looking forward to the new season. We have been training away, working hard and playing challenge matches. We are aiming to hit the ground running with the league,” promises the Bennekerry-Tinryland and Carlow star forward.