Dublin ladies football star Noelle Healy has applied for a transfer to reigning senior All Ireland club champions Mourneabbey.
The 2017 Players’ Player of the Year and triple All Ireland winner has requested the move from her home club St Brigids in Castleknock to the Cork club due to a change in her location for work.
Noelle has had to balance her Dublin inter-county career with a very demanding job and studies as an anaesthetist.
Healy is now based in Cork on a placement for her latest work module she is studying. The options open to Noelle were limited in Ireland with that module only available in Cork, otherwise the only other choice available for the four-time All-Star was to relocate to the UK to continue her studies.
This is oft the forgotten reality for these amateur sportspeople not just for Noelle but all GAA players up and down the country.
There’s no multimillion euro playing contracts, no driving to training in the latest Lamborghini or Ferrari, no plush mansion to return home to in the afternoon after a morning training session to rest and recuperate.
No, for these incredible athletes it’s the difficult scenario of finding a delicate balance between work, college or both simultaneously and training numerous times a week and playing games at the weekend.
Noelle Healy and her teammates and GAA players up and down the country in every county throughout the whole year provide breathtaking entertainment and enjoyment for tens of thousands of spectators.
Ever increasing media coverage has seen these players elevated to household names and rightly held up as role models, but it’s often forgotten these athletes have normal lives outside of their sport, while sports coverage regales tales of multimillion prize funds and playing contracts in other sports our GAA stars provide compelling entertaining games each week for no more than their love for their sport.
On Monday mornings unlike what are deemed professional athletes – there is no leisurely stroll into the club or county physio room for a recovery massage for GAA players after a hard game at the weekend, no it’s back to work or college, back to every day life like the rest of us.
And that’s been the reality for Noelle Healy in all her years playing for Dublin getting that delicate work, life, sports career balance, the 28 year old has been an intricate part of the Dublin set-up for over a decade, she was a member of the 2010 panel when the sky blues won their first ever All Ireland title.
After a couple of heartbreaking near misses in 2014, 15 and 16, Noelle was just stunning throughout 2017 which culminated in an devastating Player of the Match display from Healy in the All Ireland Final that blew Mayo apart and secured the Brendan Martin Cup for Dublin for the second time in their history.
The jet heeled star was once again a vital component in helping Dublin claim their maiden Division 1 League title, seventh Leinster title in-a-row and history making back to back All Ireland titles last year.
With Healy now based in Cork and with the demanding shifts the nature of her job require, plus the enormous study load- it was nonsensical and impractical for Noelle to return to Dublin and her club regularly on a weekly basis and her application for release has been approved by her club St Brigid’s and Dublin, but the transfer will not be completed till it receives the approval of the Cork LGFA Board.
The Star forward won’t feature in the league for Dublin but it is hoped, work permitting that Healy will be back in the Sky Blue jersey for the 2019 championship.