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Anna Geary would 'give her right arm' if circumstances allowed her to play for Cork again

The 2014 All-Ireland winning captain stepped back from the Cork senior camogie panel in 2015, aged 27.

Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

WHEN ANNA GEARY retired from inter-county camogie in May 2015, she had bagged four All-Ireland medals with Cork and four All-Stars, all before turning 28.

Very much in the prime of a glittering camogie career, Geary was forced to leave the Cork panel to concentrate on her professional life.

Now, as her former teammates gear up for their fourth All-Ireland final appearance on the trot, she admits that she would love to be in a position to be togging out with them.

“I loved playing for Cork, and I would probably give my right arm if my circumstances allowed me to contest for a starting 15 place, but I suppose life gets in the way sometimes of sport.”

With her new life in Dublin, however, the Ireland’s Fittest Family coach has accepted that life has come between her and her inter-county days.

“In theory, it’d be great. But, I suppose, living in Dublin now and working in Dublin, my hours aren’t the most sociable. Which means a lot of evenings and weekends are taken up and I don’t think that would bode well for giving 100 per cent commitment to an inter-county setup.”

Anna Geary with Conn McCluskey, Sibha Bhoja and Finn McCluskey Anna Geary at the announcement of Ireland's Second National Fitness Day in Smithfield. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The 250-odd kilometers between Dublin and Cork is too much of a barrier for giving the level of commitment needed to play inter-county.

“If you couldn’t make the odd training session during the week or if you were missing a league match because you were working. And I think that was ultimately why I stepped back.”

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

Her most recent All-Ireland win came the September before her retirement, when she captained the Cork team to the O’Duffy Cup with a win over Kilkenny.

Cork won the All-Ireland again the following year, before losing to Kilkenny in last year’s final. Even though she has less bruises now, Geary admitted that this time of year does make her feel like she’s missing out a bit.

“This time of year it always does pull on the heartstrings because that anticipation and that feeling that wells up inside you on All-Ireland final day, sitting in the dressing room.

“You know, it does give you that adrenaline rush that nothing else will compare to.”

Since leaving the inter-county scene, Geary has continued to play club camogie with her home-club Milford, and the full-back has managed to keep the adrenaline coming at that level, winning the club All-Ireland in 2016.

Her former teammates will line out against defending All-Ireland champions, Ann Downey’s Kilkenny, in Croke Park on Sunday.

Anna Geary was speaking at the announcement of Ireland’s second National Fitness Day which will take place on 29 September. 

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About the author:

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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