People Focus: Slaine McCarroll says “Be yourself and be it well”
There is no doubt that reflecting on the 2014 Ladies Gaelic Football season in Tyrone will provide an insight into one of the most successful campaigns in quite some time for county champions, St. Macartan’s. Indeed it is twenty years since the Clogher Valley club first completed a league and championship double at both minor and senior level – no mean feat when considering the level of competition in the county at club level at present.
One of the young stars to emerge in the club, and there have been many, is Eskra’s dynamic half-back who, at just 16 years of age can look back on a remarkable campaign which has still not ended yet. A year in which she was a member of St. Ciaran’s College’s Ulster Under 16 and 19 double winning sides and went on to be part of an historic first All Ireland winning side for the school. Also a year in which she played in the St. Macartan’s side which completed both a league and championship in both minor and senior football.
A ‘Player of the Match’ award in that All Ireland A Schools Final signifies her contribution and was rewarded with a recent Ulster Colleges All-Star award, one of four awarded to the school recently. The Macs prodigy is also in line for the Teamtalkmag Young Ladies Footballer of the Year at the prestigious upcoming annual All-Star Awards Banquet in the Great Northern Hotel on Friday 28th November.
But first up comes an Ulster minor club championship challenge and that is where she will bid to complete a most remarkable year on the field of play.
This week Tyrone Life caught up with Slaine McCarroll to bring you another in our series of ‘PEOPLE IN FOCUS’ profiles in the county!
Q&A with Slaine McCarroll
Eskra/St. Macartan’s & St. Ciaran’s College
School: Tell us about your Schools attended, stand-out memories and people who have had a big influence on you there:
I attended St.Patrick’s Primary School in Eskra and I am now a current student at St. Ciarans College in Ballygawley. My favourite memory of primary school was when my brother, Roan, won the 100m sprint in a pair of wellies. Mrs. Joan Harte had a big influence on my primary school life, she always made you feel welcome.
Achievements, Sporting & non-Sporting:
Club Football: 1 Under 14 Tyrone Feile Grade 1, 1 Under 14 League Grade 1, 3 Under 16 league Grade 1, 1 Minor league Grade 1, 1 Minor ChampionshipGrade 1, 2 Senior Division 1 league, 1 Senior Championship.
Schools Football: 1 Under 14 Ulster R-up, 1 Under 16 Ulster R-up, 1 Under 16 ‘A’ Ulster, 1 Under 16 ‘A’ All-Ireland, 1 Under 20 ‘B’ Ulster
County Football: 2 Under 14 Ulster R-up, 2 Under 16 Ulster R-up
Cross-Country (E-district): Team events : 2 1st place medals, 1 2nd place medal, 2 3rd place medals
Other Interests/Hobbies: Cross-country running but football always takes priority.
GAA Life – My thoughts on…
…how you got into ladies football and your thoughts on what this sport and the GAA in general brings to communities:
I started playing football for the Eskra Under 12 boys team with my cousin Caragh Kelly, until we found out about St.Macartans, through the McGirrs and the Kellys, and joined the club in 2009. Without the GAA I wouldn’t have made the friends I have today and this shows the togetherness the GAA brings to communities.
…your stand-out memories of Schools football and what will be the best reflections you will have when you look back ten years from now:
My stand out memories of schools football would have to be winning the Under 16 All-Ireland final with all of my friends. I will be able to reflect on the hundreds of photos my mum took (as usual) and my All-Ireland player of the match trophy which I will have forever.
Club Players: Could you tell us three players from your own club and three from another club who impressed you in any club matches this year (any level):
Club: Chloe McCaffrey, Jacinta McGovern and Cathy Donnelly (I have a list the length of my arm)
Another Club: Maria Canavan, Claire Tuohey, Meabh Hamill
…tell us a bit about the St. Macartan’s Ladies Football Senior & Minor Teams over the past year and a few words about your current playing colleagues:
I started with the seniors last year and they have brought me on so much and certainly toughened me up a bit. I enjoyed my experience with the senior team this year completing the double and can’t wait for the next season to start. I have been with my current minor team mates since I was 11 and we certainly are a very close team and I think that is what has made us so successful. Of course this success is all thanks to my managers Sean mc Elroy, Dermot Monaghan, Mark McCarroll (Dad), Padraig Treanor, Conor McCarroll and Yvonne Keenan.
…looking ahead to the Ulster Club Championship with St Macartan’s minor ladies:
Time has flown by. I remember walking out onto Augher St.Macartans pitch 8 weeks ago and thinking Ulster club championship won’t ever come around and now for it to be on Sunday is very exciting and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll just have to wait and see what the result will be. It will be a great challenge for us group of girls. It would be nice to have an Ulster title under our belts.
Tyrone Life – My thoughts on…
…favourite memories of growing up?
Playing (no rules) football in our garden with all the cousins and waiting to see who would cry first. 😀
…places you have travelled to – and best memories?
Going to Scotland for a day with all the family to M&D Amusement Park and getting a free ticket on all the rides and going to Lego Land in England.
…the best things to do and places to go in Tyrone?
The top of Knockmany Forest in Augher – it can’t be beat.
Funniest thing you would say has happened to you in your life:
When my cousin Claire was swinging across the river in the glen and the rope, which was attached to an unstable tree, broke and she fell straight into the river. We had to walk a mile home and her drenched. Funniest thing I have ever witnessed!
Funniest person you know? One sentence that best describes them?
My brother Daire. Not near wise!!!
3 Funniest club colleagues in the changing rooms:
1. Mary Keenan
2. Caragh Kelly
3. Deirdre McCarroll (Jnr)
…one word for each what you think best describes each of the 3 players you named above:
Tell us your favourite Joke?
How would you recognise an Irishman in Holland? He’s the one wearing the wooden wellies…
Favourite fashion brand: O’Neills
1 annoying fashion trend: False eye lashes on a night out, there not worth the effort…
Ladies Football Players: Shauna McGirr, Maura McMenamin, Deirdre McCarroll (snr)
GAA Stars: Paddy McBearty and Bernard Brogan
Sportstars: Brian O’Driscoll, Usain Bolt
Band/Singers: Mumford and Sons or Garth Brooks
Songs: Mumford and sons: Babel / One Republic: I lived
Celebrities: The Franco brothers, Channing Tatum
TV Shows: The apprentice, The walking dead
Movies: The Notebook or Frozen
Concert/Festival: Tennents Vital
Perfume: Beyonce – Heat
Item of clothing/outfit: My football boots
Place (apart from home): Melmore Head in Donegal
Shops: River Island, Topshop, Primark
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat? and Why? Facebook – keeps me connected with my brother in Australia and other friends.
Best websites & why? Ebay, you get some bargains there.