On Sunday Galway will be looking to get back to Croke park where they lost the all Ireland final last year to Dublin as they face Cork in LIT gaelic grounds Limerick. Lining out at wing forward will be young star Lynsey Noone , this train has been coming down the tracks for a long time. In 2015 she won a schools Ireland with Glenmaddy cs when she was only in second year and in 2018 she captained Galway minors to success , it was only a matter of time before she was called into the Galway senior squad.
“We had won the minor all ireland in 2018 and literally that day I was asked would I go up with the senior team they were a good bit into their championship but I was delighted just to be in there and get that experience at a young age it was a big step up compared to minor like minor you are kind of there to have the craic it was a completely different ball game altogether”
Galway is a county which is strong in many sports but Lynsey was destined to be a footballer after the success she had in secondary school and the release it gave her from studying for the leaving cert
“I played soccer for Kilkerrin and I played basketball in secondary school but I wasn’t brilliant at them to be honest I loved sport it’s probably what got me through school having school football games to look forward to and we won a couple of all ireland’s with the school we won an all ireland A when i was in second year and then in 6th year we won an all ireland B the leaving cert year is obviously tough so it was nice to have trainings to clear your mind you could be feeling stressed but then you’d go training for a couple of hours and that would clear your mind and you come home in a happier mood and a better mindset”
Lynseys club Kilkerrin Clonberne have been the dominant force in Galway football for sometime now, this year they won their 8th successive Galway club title scoring 19-93 in their five championship games , they were due to play st.nathys of Sligo in the Connacht final but the game was postponed and wont be refixed until 2021
” Obviously it was disappointing but we kind of expected it at the same time because we knew the cases were going up but we just wanted to be ready for whatever happened we got news then that there is a date for a Connacht final in January so we will be looking forward to that we will be training over christmas but we won’t mind that because we will be training for a Connacht final “
They have also won Connacht club titles in 2014,2015,2018 and 2019. Last year they made it all the way to the all Ireland club final where they lost out to Mourneabbey by the bare minimum
“It was very hard to take club football is club football they are the girls you have grown up with and you want to do your parish proud it was in the gaelic grounds so I had bitter sweet memories from there but it’s hard when you do all the work all year especially to get so close but we will have another crack at it again this year “
Lynsey is studying food science and health in University of Limerick where she also managed to win an O’connor cup in 2019 she talks about the challenges of balancing studying at third level and playing inter county football
“” I was on campus this week because I had labs and I went home for training last night and the driving is tough but then again football is something you love it’s nice to get the break from college because you would be busy I’d have assignments and exams and I would be going training when everyone else is at home doing their work but I think if it wasn’t for football I feel like I wouldn’t be able to get through college at the same time so it does help
It’s great to get to play with girls from all over the country you hear about all these girls when you are growing up and then you go playing with them instead of against them and its nice because some of my best friends I used to play against I’m living with three girls from Kerry now and I would have played underage against them so I would have known of them and now they are my best friends we got the go ahead with the O’connor cup this year again so we will have another go at it I have another two years in UL so please god another two O’connor cups “
Galway got to their first all Ireland final since 2005 last year losing out to Dublin in the end but Lynsey was a part of the record attendance for that game rather than being on the field herself , she stepped away from the squad to go on a J1 in America
“I was around for the league but then I went to Chicago for the summer I was happy to get a break but then we got to an all ireland final I went to the final but I wasn’t out there myself I was happy for all my club mates and my friends but then again I would have loved to have been out there. I have plenty more years of football ahead of me please god I was only 19 at the time there’s not many chances you can get going on a J1 hopefully I will have more chances to get to another all ireland final but I kind of had to get away for a while because I was playing a lot of football with a lot of teams and I just needed a bit of a break even though I did play out there too and we won a north American final so that was cool playing with girls from a different country and I think I’m back in better form now than I would have been if I didn’t take the break “
This Galway team is full of exciting talent ,sinead burke is a tenacious corner back ,in midfield Olivia Divilly and Louise Ward have two bottomless engines and will cover ever blade of grass , and Lucy Hannon from Dunmore has a great football brain and the ability to kick off both feet. They will come into this semi final battle hardened after beating Tipperary by a single point in the first round and a late goal from Lynsey got them over the line against Monaghan
“Obviously Cork are a very good team they are very physical and they have strong players all over the pitch themselves and Dublin have been the dominant teams in the last few years it will be a good test we are training well it is very intense we will give it a go and see how we get on”
If you happen to turn on TG4 on Sunday watch out for Galway’s prodigy Lynsey Noone. A star in the making.