This week we get the opinions, advice and views from Sinead Macken Clonguish ladies senior club player on how she spends her time during this lockdown.
How do you keep yourself busy during lockdown?
I am lucky enough to have been able to work from home since the start of the lockdown.
I work as a buyer for Smyth’s Toys, so I have been able to keep a pretty regular routine during the week. Weekends are filled with Zoom calls and catching up with friends, so it has been nice to have the time to do that!
What do you miss most during lockdown?
I really miss meet up with friends and family and going to or watching matches on the telly.
From a club footballer prospective since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in what way has your own lifestyle changed?
I have had so much more free time. I work in Galway so usually I am racing home for training. I seemed to have always been on the go with training or matches before COVID-19. With less happening now I definitely have a lot more time to focus on what I need to be doing during lockdown.
What training programme/routine do you go through during lockdown and how often would you train?
Personally, not much has changed for me compared to pre lockdown, I tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my knee in our last round of the league last year, so I have been training on my own since then really.
I was just back training non-contact with Clonguish and it was great to be back training with others, so now I am back to square one really. It was hard at the beginning, it felt like a setback for me, it has been frustrating not being able to slowly build up confidence in contact training and not having access to the gym.
I have a rehab programme from my physio in Galway, and they are in touch weekly, monitoring my progress and updating my program. My main focus is on building up strength and a running programme working on fitness and changing direction.
In one-way lockdown came at a good time for me as I was expecting to miss most of this year’s league campaign, and for me it’s hard watching on and not being able to be involved, so it is nice that everyone in the country is in the same boat now!
We did challenges with Clonguish, as well, at the start of lockdown to keep us going and now we have a running plan in place to get us prepared for getting back out on the pitch.
It was recently announced that in Phase 3 on the road map to recovery ladies training will recommence in small groups of not more than 10 players/2 coaches under social distancing guidelines on June 29. Are you in favour of getting back to training in small groups?
I think most clubs in Longford would be well used to training in small groups. Clonguish are anyway.
The club always seem to have a good few girls on county U-16, minor and senior teams so numbers are small at club training.
This has always been the way for us so I don’t think it will make too much of a difference to start off with.
In a recent LGFA survey 52% of club players surveyed were in favour of ladies’ football been played at some stage this year subject to public health guidelines! From a senior club players prospective what are your thoughts on a ladies senior championship been played in Longford this year?
Obviously if safe to do so, having some sort of a championship in Longford this year would be great, whether it be knock out or the normal group stages, we will have to wait and see.
With Leinster LGFA cancelling the Leinster Intercountry championship this summer you’d imagine we have a lot more time available to clubs than other years to run the championship.
How do you keep up a healthy lifestyle with so many restrictions in place during Covid-19?
At the beginning of the lockdown, Joe O’Brien organised a fundraiser for the “Do it for Dan” campaign. The Clonguish Footballers v Hurler v Ladies Footballers to see who could complete the most kilometres in one week.
This was a great way to motivate us at the start of lockdown and now I am just in the habit of going for a run/cycle or walk once or twice a day.
What is the best thing for you about playing ladies football?
I suppose the build up to a big game, that buzz in the dressing room before a game when you can tell everyone is focused and ready to go, that’s brilliant. Hopefully we will get back to that soon.
Having won 2 minor and 3 senior club championship titles as well as winning senior league division 1 titles with your club Clonguish, what advice can you give to young Longford lady club footballers hoping to achieve similar honours with their clubs?
Hard work and teamwork are the key. The toughest nights at training always pay off in the end. But most importantly enjoy your football. If you don’t enjoy your football you are not going to want to be there and there will be no hunger to win!
What part of the ladies’ football game would you like to see improved and why?
For me, maybe the Sin Bin, it’s a huge loss to a team to go a player down for 10 minutes. That’s one thing I would change!
Next week we will get the opinions, advice and views from Grattans senior club player Rebecca O’Kane.