Noo­nan go­ing from strength to strength

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - JOHN TARRANt

Win­ning na­tional ti­tles hasn’t sated the ap­petite of ver­sa­tile Cork sports woman Saoirse Noo­nan. Con­tribut­ing gen­er­ously to teams at ladies soc­cer and Gaelic foot­ball, Saoirse con­tin­ues to un­der­line a grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion on the pitch.

Those preda­tory in­stincts came to promi­nence again in the All-Ire­land Ladies Mi­nor Foot­ball Fi­nal, emerg­ing top markswoman to reg­is­ter 3-4 as the re­belettes clocked up a win over Gal­way. The pre­vi­ous year Noo­nan of­fered an­other les­son in fin­ish­ing to shoot a 2-5 tally against Dublin.

That run of con­sis­tent per­for­mances saw the star ac­knowl­edged on a pop­u­lar se­lec­tion as monthly win­ner of the South­side and Dis­trict Sports Star Awards at a Cork In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel func­tion.

Away from the Gaelic games scene, Noo­nan is the FAI Women’s U17 player of the year on a team she cap­tained. No mean per­former with Nemo Rangers and St Fin­barrs Camo­gie in the past, Noo­nan is thrilled to be part of a tal­ented Cork mi­nor line up that com­pleted a bril­liant three in a row.

“Its been a ter­rific ex­pe­ri­ence, there are no words to de­scribe the suc­cess, it was a tough year yet all our ef­forts were re­warded. To score is spe­cial, re­ally, the moves be­gin with the goal­keeper or de­fence, the girls put in great ball and the task is to take the scores”, said a mod­est Saoirse.

Last sea­son dis­ap­point­ment on the soc­cer fields opened the door for Noo­nan to re­turn to ladies foot­ball. Com­pet­ing in the Elite Phase of the Euro­pean U17 cham­pi­onships, just one place was up for grabs be­tween the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Hun­gary, Czech Repub­lic and France only for the Repub­lic to fin­ish run­ners up. Be­cause of soc­cer com­mit­ments, Noo­nan hadn’t played ladies foot­ball for a spell but Cork mi­nor man­ager John Cleary asked her to join up and play along­side for­mer play­ing col­leagues and the rest is his­tory with a de­ci­sive in­put in back to back fi­nals.

“Un­der John and an out­stand­ing back­room team, the prepa­ra­tions were out­stand­ing. Soc­cer and Gaelic are two dif­fer­ent sports but sim­i­lar in some ways and when I’m on the field, I like to ex­press my­self”, she said.

Noo­nan is ex­cited about the re­main­der of 2017 as the Christ the King 6th Year re­verts to soc­cer and ad­vance her sport­ing ca­reer.

South­side and Dis­trict Sports Awards win­ner for Au­gust Saoirse Noo­nan with Tanya O’Sul­li­van of me­dia spon­sors RedFM; Pe­ter Noo­nan; Saoirse Noo­nan; Deirdre Noo­nan; deputy lord mayor Joe Ka­vanagh and Kevin Mor­ri­son, op­er­a­tions man­ager, Cork In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel, main spon­sor.

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