Dreams come true for Ciara Austin

By Kevin Herron 

TG4 All-Ireland final preview 

Ciara Austin was facing the prospect of losing out on a year of county football when lockdown restrictions were eased back in April. 

Uncertainty surrounded whether or not there would be an Ulster Minor Championship and the Minor panellists faced the prospect of having no county football in 2021. 

Although they were encouraged to trial for the senior set-up and Austin as well as Duana Coleman, Thresea Mellon, Ellie Murphy, Mary Mitchell and more recently Maria O’Neill have all joined the senior set-up this season. 

Austin is relishing being involved in a squad that is Croke Park bound on Sunday and can’t wait for it to arrive. 

“I can’t wait for Sunday,” said Ciara. 

“It’s very, very exciting and the nerves are just building up but its more excitement than nerves. It’s one of those things- when you’re a child you dream of it happening, but it almost seems out of reach. When it comes into reach you go and grab it, which we did against Carlow. It is a dream come true I suppose in a way, you never think you are going to get to that stage at Croke Park and the All-Ireland final – you can’t really get better than that. It’s just really, really exciting”. 

Austin has experienced the highs and lows this year from winning the Ulster Championship only to lose their first All-Ireland outing two weeks later but acknowledges it can’t always be highs in sport. 

“It’s not all highs the whole time,” admits Austin. 

“Every team has bad matches but that drives you to work harder for the later matches which are more important- Sunday for example. It’s all part of the sport, it can’t always be highs – we’re lucky we got matches at the right time and got the chance to improve on that before the later matches and the semi-finals”. 

Austin insists it is brilliant to be part of the squad and has been a real eye opener- explaining her journey into the panel this year. 

Ciara Austin in action in the Minor A final against Monaghan in Corrigan Park earlier his year.

“It’s brilliant to be part of the squad this year,” Austin insists. 

“I’m still minor, a few of us have been brought up to the squad and it’s a big change from minor. But it’s definitely something that has been very enjoyable and an eye-opener as well. The commitment is very good and it’s just a great, great experience as well. The opportunities we’ve had this year can only stand by us going forward”. 

“I was more thinking about trying to break in this year or next year, if possible, the minor championship wasn’t going to happen, and we were all told to go forward to the senior trials to see what came of it and a lot of us progressed- which is good. But then the minor championship ended up happening, so we had that as well. it was unexpected but we’re all enjoying it so much”. 

Ciara (2nd right) arrives for training at Davitt’s on Thursday evening

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