Talented Grattans ladies football player Rebecca O'Kane thankful that training is back

Seamus McGuire

Reporter:

Seamus McGuire

Email:

pro.longford@lgfa.ie

Talented Grattans ladies football player Rebecca O'Kane thankful that training is back

Grattans ladies football player Rebecca O'Kane

This week we get the opinions, advice and views from Rebecca O’Kane Grattans ladies senior club player on how she spends her time during this lockdown.

How did you keep yourself busy during lockdown?
At the start of lockdown I had college exams to study for which passed some time. Other than that I spent a lot of time painting and in the bog! I’ve worked hard trying to keep up my fitness levels by going for a run and doing workouts. Thankfully with football training officially back on again it will be busy from now on training as a group with the club.

What did you miss most during lockdown?
I missed training and playing matches and having the bit of craic with all the girls down at the club. As well as that I missed not being able to go out to meet up with friends and being restricted from going places.

What way has your own lifestyle changed during Covid-19?
Since the start of lockdown I had much more free time. Normally we would have been preparing for the championship, training up to three times a week and playing league matches. Spending so much time at home and not having any sports has significantly impacted my lifestyle.

What training programme/routine did you go through during lockdown and how often would you train?
I have been doing a mix of running, cycling and online workouts to try and maintain my fitness levels with no group training since March last. As a club team we put together a programme of running individually at least three times a week. Luckily my sisters are also on the club team so we had the advantage of being able to train / run together.

From a club player's perspective what are your thoughts on a ladies championship being played in Longford this year?
I am definitely looking forward to competing in the Longford Senior championship with Grattan’s this summer. Now that the guidelines regarding a safe return to play have been confirmed, this is great news for my club especially as this is our first year competing at senior championship level. I am looking forward so much to the experience of playing at the highest level of football in Longford.

How did you keep up a healthy lifestyle with so many restrictions in place during Covid-19?
With restrictions in place and pitches closed it was more difficult to stay active and motivated. I tried to stick to a training schedule and bring my dog for a walk daily to get out for a while.

What is the best thing for you about playing ladies football?
Definitely the friendships you make along the way and just having a laugh during training or going to matches is great. Since we began playing as a club team at U12 level and moving up to play senior football this year shows how much we have grown together as a team which is also great. Thinking about all the time and effort we put into training and games makes playing the game worthwhile also.

Having won an All-Ireland schools title with your school Mercy Ballymahon and doing the double with your club Grattans winning the Intermediate club championship and division 2 league titles all in 2019 as well as winning a Junior club championship title in 2018, what advice can you give to young Longford lady club footballers hoping to achieve similar honours with their school and club?
Be consistent with going to training. Always work as part of a team and have a positive attitude towards what you are doing at training and playing games. Give your best effort, not every match will go your way but focus on what comes next.

Having won the Intermediate championship with your club Grattans last year, what are your thoughts now on moving up to play in the Longford senior ladies championship which will be played later in the summer?
Having been promoted to play senior football this year will provide much stronger competition, but we as a club are welcoming the challenge. We are quite a young team in Grattans but if we play to our full potential I believe we have the capability to be strong competitors and we hope to improve and drive on from last year’s very successful year.

What part of the ladies’ football game would you like to see improved and why?
I would like to see more publicity and recognition for ladies football. I believe our game is slightly undermined by the men’s game even though lady players are just as committed. Also I would love to see pitches and facilities become more readily available to LGFA teams.

Next week we will get the opinions, advice and views from Ballymore intermediate club player Sarah Smyth.