HAPPY TO WAIT Pictured after Sunday’s success, Cora Staunton is more than content to delay her trip to take up a professional Aussie Rules contract as it means she will be preparing for an All-Ireland Club Final with Carnacon. Pic: Sportsfile
CORA Staunton should have started her pre-season AFLW training with her Sydney Giants teammates yesterday (Monday), instead she will be sticking around Carnacon for another couple of weeks at least.
Last Sunday Staunton hit 1-7 against St Macartan’s of Tyrone to help Carnacon into their first All-Ireland final since their 2013 heroics, meaning she has to postpone her trip down under just yet.
But the Mayo Ladies star is not complaining and is relishing the prospect of winning a clean sweep of club titles before heading for Sydney.
“With Carnacon, this is what we aim for every year, it’s what you are hoping for,” she told The Mayo News. “It’s been a long season with Mayo, I think it is eight or nine weeks since we lost the All-Ireland final, and then with the whole Australia thing, it has been all go, so to finish the year with a club All-Ireland would be huge.
“But we are up against a big task in Mourneabbey, so we’ll be back training tomorrow night and we’re looking forward to it. There was no mad celebrations last night when we got back from Tyrone, everyone was shattered and headed home to get prepared for Sunday week.”
Last Sunday was Carnacon’s sixteenth All-Ireland semi-final, and their experience showed as they ran out convincing winners against the Ulster champions.
Whilst Staunton, along with many of her fellow veterans played their part, she had particular praise for her side’s young stars.
“Our younger girls are playing very well,” she said. “The likes of Amy [Dowling], and her sister Louise and Sadhbh Larkin have been huge this year.
“Louise has probably been our find of the year. She has only just turned 14. We were probably annoying her parents a bit during the year to get her out.
“It was a bit of a struggle at the start of the year,” she laughed. “We were annoying her since March, and we eventually got her out in August.”
The manner in which Carnacon breezed past St Macartan’s on Sunday impressed many, none more than opposition manager and former All-Ireland winner with Tyrone, Ryan McMenamin, who sought out Staunton after the game.
“He just came up and shook my hand and obviously he knows about me, I have been playing for a long time,” she said. “ He said ‘well done’ and came into the dressing room after and told us that this was a new level for them and obviously they weren’t ready just yet.
“He then said to go on and win the All-Ireland and was on about Australia, saying the best of luck and telling me to grab the opportunity with both hands. He was very gracious in defeat and wanted us to go on and win the All-Ireland.”