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Surviving G4M&O training and the incredible decision by Mayo Ladies County Board

Wahey! I have survived two football training sessions. I never thought I’d put a pair of football boots on again but here I am. The sessions are tough and I’ve aches in places I never knew I had but I wouldn’t swap it. Everyone is so enthusiastic about having a Gaelic4Mothers & Others team and I have to say we are having fun.

The main thing about G4M&O is the fun factor and we certainly are having that in abundance. Our poor trainers Jimmy and Gabriel are having a tough time dealing with a bunch of giggling women; it’s like we are back in school.

There are people there who have never kicked a ball before, others who have played a bit and we are extremely lucky to have former county players and All-Ireland winners. One of the girls who played at the top level for her county hadn’t put on a pair of football boots in 18 years but she did so on Wednesday night and to quote her “it felt good.” If anything comes out of this I really hope it’s that people will feel good.

I have so say I surprised myself with my solo runs; I wasn’t great at them when I played U14. Still I think that’s why I was a goalkeeper. In our target practice I found out I still had a crooked foot; I kicked so many behinds I think scouts from Australia might turn up at one of our training sessions to see me.

Having done my foundation coaching course I’d love to train a team but while I’m still able to play I might stick to the other side of the line. I can’t believe I’m saying that. It is unbelievable the camaraderie that is amongst the team. A large number of us know each other but there are new people there and it’s wonderful to meet them; we all have a common goal and that is to enjoy ourselves and try and play football.

One of the women asked me the other night am I going to do a blog on our experience. It was something I was going to do at the start but didn’t know how it would go down with others. We are now so comfortable in ourselves that I’m going to do that. It’s not a training session under Jim Gavin or Mick Bohan with the ultimate goal an All-Ireland but for some of us playing our first competitive match would be akin to an All-Ireland Final.

We have four more weeks to go before we decide whether or not we register as a team. The other night we were talking about what training we will do in the winter months so it seems this is the real thing for us.

After just two sessions we are a tight unit. I can only imagine what it’s like to be part of a club team and because of that I feel extremely disappointed with the Mayo Ladies County Board in their treatment of Carnacon. They kicked them out of the Mayo Championship so therefore they don’t have a chance to defend their All-Ireland Club title.

Mayo County Board came to the decision because a number of Carnacon players walked off the Mayo Senior Football panel earlier this year. The reason was player welfare. There was mediation talks but no resolution. Neither side has said what the problem is and that is their right. The County Board shouldn’t punish the ordinary club player because their team-mates won’t play for their county. Will they do the same if something like this happens in the future? Without club players there’d be no county. Mayo County Board should remember that.