Interest in women’s sport is on an ever-upward trajectory in this country. Female sport stars are now becoming household names due to a greater presence on our TV screens, and rightly so. The younger generation has an army of role models to look up to and emulate. One of those role models is Amy O’Connor. Growing up in Knocknaheeny in Cork City, the odds were stacked against her to succeed. An area that had high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, she rose above it all to follow her own path. However, her pride in Knocknaheeny never wavers and Knocknaheeny’s pride in the 4-time All-Star winner is very much reciprocated. This week we went ClubSpotting with Amy O’Connor to St. Vincent’s, Knocknaheeny.
What are your first memories of your club St. Vincents Knocknaheeny?
My very first memory of St. Vincents’ was turning up to a blitz in football boots, only to be told the blitz was in the indoor hall so my mam had to run home for a pair of runners for me!
Who were your sporting idols growing up? I loved watching Gemma O’Connor, Ben O’Connor, and Henry Shefflin.
Toughest opponent you have faced? The toughest opponent I have ever faced is probably Pamela Mackey. Pam is a really good defender and makes it difficult for every forward she marks.
Best Player you have played with? I have been lucky enough to play with some of the best players to ever play the game so it is difficult to select just one. Gemma O’Connor, Orla Cotter & Rena Buckley are definitely 3 of the best. I was also lucky enough to play with Jenny O’Leary for one year and I’d have loved to have played more with her.
What is the proudest moment of your playing career? I have had some really good days thankfully! My proudest moment, however, is being selected as the Cork Senior Camogie Captain. It was such a special moment for myself, my family, and my club.
Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals? I don’t have any superstitions really but I always take it easy in the warm-up before games. I’d also go to the bathroom as well during the warm-up about 10-15 mins from throw-in.
What are your hopes and ambitions heading into the remainder of the season? The season is now over. We, unfortunately, had a disappointing end to the year with Cork being beaten in the All Ireland Final. With club, we were also beaten and that was also really disappointing. I did play with our divisional team, Seandun, and we won the Senior County Championship so that was great and it was really enjoyable. I picked up a bit of an injury the week of the All Ireland Final, 7 weeks ago now, and I have been just playing with it but I must go to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon this week so hopefully, I’ll get positive news. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break now after a long season but I’ll keep tipping away with the gym and use the time to work on specific things before the season starts again.
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