In what’s been something of a revolution in recent years, the top stars of LGFA have been taking Australia by storm as the AFLW tap in to the Irish talent pool. The talented Grace Kelly, a Mayo woman, has built upon the success of her ‘Rookie season’, racking up 8 goals in her sophomore year with the West Coast Eagles. She has recently made the move over East to join St Kilda Women’s in Melbourne. But how does one get from Moy Davitts to the East Coast of Australia? We went ClubSpotting with Grace to find out.
1. What are your earliest memories of Moy Davitts?
Earliest memory of Moy Davitts: One of my earliest memories was playing with the Moy Davitts boys U10 team. I was the only girl on the team. I used to get my older brother who played on the same team to go into the changing room to collect my jersey for me before every game because I was too shy to go in myself! I secretly loved playing with all the boys but I wouldn’t admit it at the time!
2. Who were your sporting idols growing up?
Ciaran McDonald was just a joy to watch and I loved his unique playing style. His shooting from the outside of the left boot, his vision, and his ability to pick out the perfect pass were all top class components of his game!
3. What was your proudest moment in a Moy Davitts jersey?
My proudest moment in a Moy Davitts Jersey was when we won the Junior County final vs Claremorris in 2011. It was a special day for the club as we had been in the Junior division for quite a while before that. Knowing we would be playing up at Intermediate level the following year was a huge success for us. We won the Intermediate two years later which was also a very proud moment and we have been competing at Senior level since.
4. How have you found the transition to the AFLW? What are you missing most about home?
It’s been a brilliant journey so far! I am loving the challenge of learning a new sport and bringing my Gaelic flair and that element of unpredictability to the game. I’m learning more with every game I play. The game isn’t as new to me this year too so I am more familiar with the structures and the tactical side of the game too. I am missing my family and friends at home. It’s great that we can zoom call every day though and I am very lucky that I have Niamh (my sister) here with me too. We are living with Aisling McCarthy from Tipperary too so it’s nice to have another Irish girl around.
5. Do you have any superstitions or pre game rituals?
I have a few pre game rituals but nothing major! I like to be organised before games. I wear a headband for each game to keep the hair out of my eyes. I always have to eat white bread, peanut butter and banana before playing too!
6. Do you hope to return to play for Moy Davitts and Mayo in the future?
Yes definitely! I will be back this year to play for Moy Davitts and Mayo all going well with the Covid situation. It’s great that we are able to play both AFLW and Gaelic with the way both football seasons fall.