Longford ladies minor captain Sorcha Dawson admits it is ‘strange to get training plans online’

Following cancellation of Leaving Cert Sorcha hopes her work over past two years will be enough to secure college place

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Longford ladies minor captain Sorcha Dawson admits it is ‘strange to get training plans online’

Sorcha Dawson, Longford minor ladies captain and Ballymore senior club player

This week we get the opinions, advice and views from Sorcha Dawson, Longford minor ladies captain and Ballymore senior club player on how she spends her time during this lockdown.

How do you keep yourself busy during lockdown?
Well, we just got a new dog called Boomer before lockdown so he is keeping me occupied with his constant need for attention. I’m trying to keep fit as well, I do a few runs a week but I’m finding it hard to keep myself motivated as the weeks go on. 

What do you miss most during lockdown?
I miss the interaction with my friends both on and off the pitch and the excitement coming up to important games. I also miss doing things that I would have done every weekend before lockdown, like going to see my grandparents.

From a club/county footballers prospective since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in what way has your own lifestyle changed?
My life has gotten a lot less busy, as in normal times I was training with club and county several times a week with a game in between. I miss that routine. It has been very strange getting our training plans online instead of a mix of different drills at training sessions where the encouragement from your teammates always helps to push yourself to the limit, I am fortunate enough to have my sister as a training partner as it keeps both of us motivated. I feel like I have a lot more time for watching Netflix than ever before as we have no school and no leaving cert to study for.   

In a recent LGFA survey 30% of players surveyed were in favour of NO ladies’ football being played for the rest of this year at club or county level due to Covid-19. What are your thoughts on this?
I want to get back playing as soon as possible but I believe it would be silly to start back ladies football before it is safe to do so. It might just lead to more problems and prolong the pandemic unnecessarily. 

Can you envisage a return to ladies’ football in 2020 and would you be in favour of a return to play?
I can’t see the LGFA allowing ladies football to resume in 2020. I believe the quality of football would be degraded as social distancing will likely be a part of everyday life for the foreseeable future. As a defender I don’t see a way in which this would be possible or enjoyable in ladies football. The absence of spectators would also affect our performance as a team.

How do you keep up a healthy lifestyle with so many restrictions in place during Covid-19?
I am lucky I live in the countryside so there is plenty of room for me to run on the roads around my house within the government guidelines to keep fit and healthy both physically and mentally. I am also trying to eat as healthy as I can to make the transition back to football easier. 

What training programme/routine do you go through during lockdown and how often would you train?
We have been getting runs to complete weekly from our county managers Paul, Eugene, Brían and Danielle. This usually consists of three runs a week with rest days in between. I have also been doing some club workouts when I get a chance during the week to vary my routine, these are a mix of HIT workouts and Strength and Conditioning sessions.

Are you in favour of getting back to training in small groups?
Yes, I don’t think there would be any harm in training in small groups practicing basic skills like passing, soloing and shooting which are sometimes forgotten about in training. Practicing at home just doesn’t have the same effect. 

As this is your last year playing football for Longford at underage level and having represented your county at all levels from U14 up to minor what advice would you give to young girls in Longford who aspire to play football for their county underage teams?
Always keep practicing your basic skills and improving your own fitness as this is what I find the hardest and most important aspect of how you perform in any game. A never die attitude is always admirable and hard work is rewarded as I have learned over the years. It is a good idea to mark someone at training who you think challenges you most, whether it’s through speed or skill. Don’t lose heart if you are not on the starting 15, each member of the panel plays their part in team performance.

You were due to sit your Leaving Cert exams this summer. Now that the traditional leaving cert exams have been cancelled due to Covid-19 and replaced with the predictive grades process for leaving certificate students, what are your thoughts on this new method of assessment?
At first I was disappointed that after all our studying and working towards the leaving cert it was just cancelled and it was out of my control. However, now having chosen to go with the predictive grading system, I am satisfied that there is nothing more I can do and hopefully my work throughout the last 2 years will be enough to get the college place I want in September. If not, I have many more options with the opportunity to complete the exams at a later stage when it is safe to do so. 

Next week we will get the opinions, advice and views from Longford Ladies Minor vice-captain Hannah Glennon.