De Burca still enjoying representing Galway

Meabh De Burca remains a key performer for Stephen Lally's team

Meabh De Burca, pictured representing the Republic of Ireland in 2014, remains a key performer for Galway WFC.

Meabh De Burca, pictured representing the Republic of Ireland in 2014, remains a key performer for Galway WFC.

Cup football is all about taking opportunities. Capped on 52 occasions by the Republic of Ireland senior team, Meabh De Burca, is fully versed in Galway WFC’s potential.

At Tolka Park on Saturday afternoon Stephen Lally’s team simply want to deliver at Tolka Park against an accomplished Shelbourne outfit in an attractive FAI Cup semi-final.

Galway’s dynamism and defiance at the quarter-final stage was rewarded when Julie Ann Russell and Chloe Singleton combined neatly. Singleton’s blistering finish injected Galway’s campaign with hope and optimism. A bit of expectation is attached to Saturday’s trip to the capital, which is no harm at all, illustrating the development currently taking place.

“We are really looking to it, hopefully we can finally make history for the club, getting to the first cup final,” De Burca says.

Defeating Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park was another statement. “We were all delighted with the result,” she adds. “A lot of us who are experienced or who have been around the place like myself and Lynsey [McKey] who have been trekking down to Ferrycarrig for eight years without a win.

“I suppose it makes the 650 kilometre round trip worth it in the end. To finally get the win there was fantastic, it really has given us all a boost ahead of the cup semi-final.”

With a nice cocktail of emerging and established players, the Galway squad is really beginning to deliver according to De Burca. “There has been a real sense of optimism and just a buzz around the place with the experience and then the talent coming through, it is just amazing."

“I think it is becoming a lot more of a club. Years ago we were just a stand alone team, now we have the U17s and U19s too. The three teams all have got to the respective cup semi-finals, it has been a fairly productive few weeks. There is a really good feel good factor around the club at the moment.”

Just over a decade old, the WNL is acquiring more interest and increased media exposure. Perhaps a semi-professional league is possible in the future?

“A lot of sponsors are coming on board, we were very lucky ourselves to have amazing sponsors through the years, people who backed us,” De Burca says.

“I think it is going to push on to a new level, it is getting there. Hopefully that will push on and that will be the next step that there will be some form of semi professionalism within the league. People who have been coming out to the games for years can see the level and hopefully now it can reach out to a bigger audience.”

From a long distance out the FAI Cup assumed increased significance for Galway WFC. “This year with a few early losses the league kind of went away from us at such an early stage that the cup was vital to give us a lot of hope and optimism,” she says. “It is great to be involved in with a chance of winning silverware is fantastic. It will bring more interest to the club.”

Having enjoyed a brief sabbatical from the game at the outset of 2021, De Burca relishes being involved once more. “It is great to be back, I took a break at the start of the season, I had intended to take a break in 2020 - it did not work out as a result of Covid,” De Burca says.

“I think it was the right time to take a break, I feel a lot fresher now, the mind feels fresh, I am buzzing with the season, I am just delighted to be involved. Every time you get to go on a pitch representing Galway - it is a fantastic opportunity.”

De Burca’s passion for the game endures.

** Listen to the full interview with Galway WFC’s Meabh De Burca on this week’s ‘Cian On Sport’ podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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