After taking a break for the 2020 season, Eimear Scally made a very welcome return to the Cork set up this year, although it didn’t have the fairytale ending the Rebels would have hoped for losing out to an exceptional Meath side. Scally has rose through the ranks, starring at all levels for Cork and although this season didn’t work out as planned, they will certainly be a threat in the coming season with Scally in their armoury. We went to Éire Óg to go ClubSpotting with Eimear Scally.
1. What are your first memories of your club Éire Óg?
My first playing memory was togging out for the camogie club at around 7 or 8 years of age where I found my early passion of playing in goals. This was all helped by my school coach Bridget O’ Grady who played a huge part in my early playing days during primary school.
My earliest memory from a supporting point of view was when I was about 10 when Éire Óg won the Minor A County where my brother was playing and my dad was manager. I used to go down to all the trainings (which in hindsight was probably a good break for my mom in the evenings!) but I remember how serious the training was with fitness coaches coming in and ice baths being filled on cold October nights. My dad was and is the biggest influence I have for football and it was great to have role models from Éire Óg growing up.
2. Who were your sporting idols growing up?
The likes of Dessie Dolan and particularly Dan Goulding were huge sporting idols for me as well as Juliet Murphy and Nollaig Cleary. My sister Aoife probably pips everyone as I went to a lot of her Cork underage games when growing up. Luckily I get to play alongside her with the club and she is still my hero!
3. What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
Winning back-to-back Minor club titles was significant for me. All-Irelands that were won along the way were massive but winning the Minor All-Ireland in my final year at underage and of course, the 2014 All-Ireland will always be memorable.
4. Who was the toughest opponent you have faced?
At club level, it would have to be Aisling Kelleher and at county level, Shauna Hynes from Galway was never too enjoyable to mark during our underage battles!
5. Who was the best Player you have played with?
Between playing with many players through club, county, and college, it’s hard to pick one! I’m going to go with Fiona McHale as being the best player I played with. Her sheer determination, athleticism, and attitude is an example that any young player should look up to.
6. Any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I like to keep things very light-hearted before games such as playing upbeat music and having a bit of craic with the girls. While being focused is important it can be done in many ways. I hate this whole craic of people having to be “tuned in” by being dead quiet and just sitting down and looking into the ground when waiting to go out onto the pitch. Football is there to be enjoyed and on a personal level, I feel if I am in good form and loose then I’ll go out and get into the game well enough. I also like a good caffeine boost before a game!
7. What are your hopes and ambitions for the remainder of the season?
With a disappointing end to the county season, I’d like a good mental break and forget about Cork football for a small while and have a fresh start next season. Going forward with the club I’d like to think we could be contenders for the county title. There has been a lot of work put in and I have no doubt we have the talent and attitude to give it a good lash!
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