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'Who knows what the future holds but for now, I'm definitely staying put' - Meath star Duggan

The teenage sharpshooter says her team-mate Vikki Wall will take to AFLW ‘like a duck to water’ though.

Meath footballer Emma Duggan at the launch of the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition.
Meath footballer Emma Duggan at the launch of the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

EMMA DUGGAN AND Vikki Wall are both household names by now. The pair almost go hand-in-hand.

The Meath and Dunboyne duo have lit up the ladies football scene of late, both playing central roles through stunning recent success for county and club.

The last few months have thrown up All-Ireland senior and Division 1 league titles in the Royals’ first season back in both top-flights, Leinster senior club glory and much, much more.

Wall is set for a move to the Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] sooner rather than later though, reportedly due to sign for North Melbourne.

The iconic duo are likely to be separated, but Duggan is backing her club- and county-mate to be a big success Down Under.

“I think she’ll take to it like a duck to water,” the 19-year-old sharpshooter says.

“She’s a massively physical player and she’s an unbelievable athlete. The work that she’s put in over the last few years is going to show over there as well. I’ll be looking on, I’ll be supporting her the whole way if she does make the move. I’m delighted for her and no one deserves it more than her, and I look forward to seeing her in action.”

Like most of the top ladies footballers on these shores, Duggan has also been linked with a switch to the AFLW.

A first year accounting and finance student in DCU, she’s quick to brush off any immediate appeal or interest. 

dublin-v-meath-tg4-all-ireland-ladies-senior-football-championship-final Duggan and Wall (centre) celebrate after the 2021 All-Ireland final with Katie Newe (left) and Máire O'Shaughnessy. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

“I suppose I’d have to put thought to it. It’s not something that I have thought about too much. I’m still quite young, I’m still in college,” she points out.

“To be honest with you, there’s a lot keeping me over here between football and there’s a lot that I want to achieve with Meath over the next few years. Especially when we’re going so well, I don’t think I could ever up and leave it at the moment anyway.

“That’s where my priorities lie for the minute. Who knows what the future holds but for now, I’m definitely staying put.”

The lure of Down Under is surely to the back of both of their minds right now, with all focus on Saturday’s Leinster final meeting with Dublin.

The rivals face off in Croke Park, the decider forming a double-header with the men’s showpiece between the Dubs and Kildare.

“It’s a massive occasion,” Duggan nods. “We haven’t been at this stage of the competition, we haven’t been in a Leinster senior final in I don’t know how long. It’s a really big occasion and we’re really looking forward to it.

“I suppose we’re going tit-for-tat at the minute. We’ve beaten them twice and they’ve beaten us once. On Sunday they’re going to have revenge on their minds. It’s two teams with very high standards and I think it’s going to be an unbelievable game. There’s a great buzz around our camp to try to get over the line and really push it on from where we left it off the last day.

“We were happy with our performance but I think there’s still an awful lot more in us and hopefully we can show that in Croke Park and it comes out on the biggest day.”

“It’s a competition that we value a huge amount having not played in it for how many years,” Duggan continues. “It’s the same for Dublin, they haven’t had a Leinster competition in two or three years now at this stage so they’re going to be feeling the exact same way as we are.

emma-duggan-with-tara-hegarty Duggan facing Donegal in the Division 1 league final. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

“It’s something that a lot of us have spoken about. I don’t have a Leinster medal at adult level so it’s definitely something that I want in my back pocket, as well as the rest of the girls. A lot of them only have one at intermediate level so we’re really, really motivated for the game.

“There’s an awful lot of hunger within the group so hopefully we can go out and show that on Saturday and we’re coming away with a Leinster medal.”

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It’s been a case of so far, so good for Meath in 2022, with Eamonn Murray’s side continuing their remarkable upward trajectory.

They followed up their historic All-Ireland win with a maiden league crown, and boast a 100% record in championship fare thus far.

The hunted not the hunters, they’ve certainly taken it all in their stride and backed up their 2021 success.

“It’s something that we acknowledged at the start of the year, that it’d be a different challenge for us this year,” Duggan concludes. “We’re not gonna be going into games as underdogs or under the radar like we were last year with no pressure.

“But we’ll only take the pressures from within the camp and the expectation that the lads have for us, that we have for each other as well. If you were to listen to any outside noise from people saying this, that and the other about us this year, I think you’d kind of get a bit lost in what you’re actually trying to achieve.

“The main thing for us is to stay focused, and I think we have done that this year. We’ve kind of drove it all on since last year as well, which has been huge for us.”

Your GAA club could win up to €25,000 in the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps on-pack competition. To nominate your GAA club today, all that is required is to purchase a promotional box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies or Bran Flakes. Using a unique on pack code, log on to kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie/competition and nominate your club of choice.


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Emma Duffy

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