Olivia’s dream day

Crossbridg­e stu­dent lines out for the Dubs in Cro­ker

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - OLIVIA SHAN­NON at Croke Park

IN March, I qual­i­fied to go to Bal­li­nakill for a Cu­mann na mBun­scol GAA skills com­pe­ti­tion. I was very happy when I came first in the ladies foot­ball.

Af­ter a while of wait­ing to see what would hap­pen, I re­ceived a let­ter from Cu­mann na mBun­scol. When I opened the let­ter, I couldn’t be­lieve that I would be play­ing in Croke Park on the day of the All–Ire­land foot­ball fi­nal. I could not be­lieve it!

Dur­ing the sum­mer I prac­tised my skills and fi­nally the day ar­rived. I got up early, got dressed and ate my break­fast. Even­tu­ally we got into the car for our jour­ney. When we ar­rived we went to a com­mu­nity cen­tre where we waited to be told what to do.

There were a lot of other chil­dren there from lots of other coun­ties. Af­ter say­ing good­bye to our par­ents, we got into our teams with our great coaches and set off to Croke Park. It was a quick walk and we ar­rived at the sta­dium soon af­ter. It was so ex­cit­ing to see my kit hang­ing up in the dress­ing room. I was wear­ing Dublin No. 9.

Then we left to get pic­tures taken. When we got back to the dress­ing rooms we put on our boots and got our gumshields and gloves ready. We got to our seats and watched the start of the mi­nor match. Near the end of the first half we left to get ready to go onto the pitch.

When we reached the side of the pitch I re­alised that I was about to play in Croke Park! I was so ner­vous at this stage. As the half-time whis­tle rang through the sta­dium we ran onto the pitch. The grass looked so amaz­ing I just couldn’t wait to start play­ing.

As soon as the match started all my nerves were gone. I was play­ing with girls from all over the coun­try. The match was ten min­utes long. When the match fin­ished, we went for lunch. Af­ter that we got changed into the club jer­seys of the Dublin foot­ballers.

I got a Clon­tarf jer­sey, the team that Jack McCaf­frey plays for. We stood by the red car­pet where all the play­ers got to shake hands with the GAA Pres­i­dent.

Af­ter that we left and went to our seats and watched the se­nior All-Ire­land match. I was dis­ap­pointed that it was a draw, but it was the best game of foot­ball I have ever seen so far. That day in Croke Park was the best day

Olivia Shan­non (9) qith the Dublin team along with INTO Pres­i­dent Fer­gal Broughan, Cu­mann na mBun­scol Chair­per­son Mairead O’Cal­laghan, Pres­i­dent of the LGFA Marie Hickey, Uachtarán Chu­mann Lúthch­leas Gael John Ho­ran.

Olivia Shan­non in ac­tion against Kerry.

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