Dublin And DCU Star Laura McGinley Looking Forward To A Very Competitive HEC Championship


Laura McGinley Likes To Keep Busy And Takes Juggling Playing For Dublin And DCU In Her Stride

Dublin and DCU star Laura McGinley was one of the leading players in the Gourmet Food Parlour in Santry yesterday for the launch of the 2020 HEC championship.

We sat down with Laura to get her thoughts on the upcoming competition and also her return to the Dublin panel.

The GFC Third-Level championships get underway on the 6th of February, Laura and her DCU teammates will play their opening game on the 20th of February in a big Dublin derby against UCD and Laura is hoping it’s a good game to start things off and that their is plenty of support at the game for both teams.

“Hopefully it will be good and hopefully lads of supporters going from UCD and DCU, it’s always good to have the Dublin derby to start off the championship, so hopefully it will be a good game.”

As an inter-county player and All Ireland winner Laura McGinley plays football at the highest level of the game and having played college football for a couple of years now she says the standard of football played by college is of the same high standard as inter-county.

“Yes it’s very, very competitive, you have the aspect of different girls from different counties so your getting aspects of their training and they are bringing it into college and also different managers (from different counties), so those different aspects are obviously bringing up the level higher, higher and higher.”

Players involved in college competitions always speak very fondly of their time involved, but what is it about playing in college that makes it so memorable for players.

For Laura McGinley it’s the lifelong friends she has made with players from other counties which she states she probably wouldn’t have met if she wasn’t in college.

“Making friends with different girls you wouldn’t have met, haven’t been in college and getting their opinions on football and nutrition and recovery and everything and just having that social aspect with different girls is really nice thing about college football.”

It’s an extremely busy time for Laura with inter-county and college playing commitments and also studying for her degree obviously that can be very difficult, but for Laura she thrives on it as she likes to keep busy as she admits that when she has time on her hands she doesn’t use it as well as she could.

“I like to keep busy, I find when I have a lot of time I don’t use it as well, your in DCU for a reason your there to get a degree and that always comes first and the college respect that and they are very helpful, DCU are very helpful if you need help with grinds or modules or anything and then obviously you have your training in the evenings and at the weekends.

“I think the big thing is communication between all the managers (county and college) and just making sure your not being overloaded on work in terms of college and then football as well.

“The managements are really good communicating, so it’s always Monday to Thursday is college and then the weekends are inter-county up until March when the O’Connor Cup is over, so I think that works really well for the ladies side of it because your getting your college during the week and then you have your weekends off to play your league games and train.”

This year the O’Connor Cup weekend takes place on the 13th/14th of March in the newly-built Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence in Currans, it was staged in Dublin for the past two seasons so Laura is very much looking forward to the trip down south if her team make the weekend and feels it will be a great opportunity for her side to bond.

If her side do make the GFP O’Connor Cup weekend then Laura will look upon current holders UL as the big threat, although she pointed out that anything can happen in championship and all the teams involved are competitive and they are all playing at a really high level.

“Ye definitely it’s been played in Dublin the last two years so yes it’s great to go down, in my first year I think it was in Mayo so it will be a really good opportunity for the team to bond if we make it obviously and hopefully it will be a good weekend.

“Obviously UL are a big threat, they won it last year and they beat us in the league final in November, so their a huge threat. But to be honest anything can happen in championship and the teams in the O’Connor Cup are really competitive and they are all at a really high level and every game we play will be a tough one no matter who we play.”

Laura took a year out from the inter-county scene last year to go travelling but she has returned to the Dublin panel this year and made her first start in last Sunday’s league opener against Tipperary which ended in a draw.

Although disappointed with the result Laura was excited to be back on the scene and be back with the girls in the team and strong bond that is within the Dublin team.

Returning to the inter-county scene will of course include a little readjustment but Laura said even though she wasn’t playing county, she was still playing football even on her travels, so she wasn’t coming back in completely unknown to what it was like or what was expected commitment wise.

“It was really good (to be back), obviously it was a draw so it wasn’t the result we hoped for but it was really exciting to be back in the scene, it was really nice being with all the girls again I think that’s such a strong thing with the Dublin team anyway is the bond that the girls have is very strong and it’s just really nice to be back playing with everyone.

“Obviously I have to get use to things again, I was obviously away from the inter-county standard but I was still playing football so your coming back in unknown to what it’s like especially being there the two years previous but you have to get use to the commitment again and the set-up and management.”

Laura also spoke about what it’s like to play against some of her Dublin teammates who play for other colleges and also playing with players who she normally faces during the national league and all Ireland championship.

The full interview can be viewed in the video above.