Ailish on course to keep her Croke Park promise

Ailish on course to keep her Croke Park promise


Ailish Considine kicks over a free. Pic: David Dillon
Ailish Considine kicks over a free. Pic: David Dillon

Ailish Considine has proven herself as an individual who responds well to change.

Whether it’s the departure of her sister Eimear from the County panel, dropping a grade from Senior to Intermediate, taking on the role of Vice Captain along with extra responsibilities and opting against being a dual-player, there has been plenty of alterations in her sporting life.

As well as playing together at home in Kilmihil, Ailish and Eimear Considine togged alongside each other all the way up the ranks at club and county. In the past two seasons Eimear has opted out of Clare commitments, initially it did affect the younger of the sisters but in hindsight the added expectation on her shoulders has been embraced.

“It’s a big change because she was always the one driving me to training and bringing me along, now I’m on my own at this stage, even on the pitch you’d miss playing with her because you’d just know she would be in this position and I’d just give it to her, that bit of instinct you’d have from playing with her for years, you’d miss her around the place but I’ve had to get on with a while because she hasn’t been back playing with us for almost two years now so I’m adjusted at this stage just about” she told The Clare Herald.

Without a personal chauffeur for Clare commitments, Ailish had to rely on her fellow clubmates on the panel for company en route to training over the summer but now that they’re back to college she finds herself travelling a lonely road. She credits the radio and Spotify for “keeping me going” on the drives to and from training.

Now that Clare are playing in the Intermediate ranks Considine highlights the difference in how they approach games as being key to their progression in 2016. “You were playing Cork and Kerry off the bat straight away in every senior game so at the start there was a bit of difference, you’re going out expecting to win games in the intermediate whereas in the senior you were hoping damage limitation really, the way we were gone that’s the way it was kind of looking for us with Cork and Kerry so it’s a big change but a change that we needed”.

Often players can find the role of being freetaker a stressful task but it is one that Ailish truly relishes. “I don’t really find it a pressurised situation I’d actually be really relaxed most of the time taking the free which is a good thing to be as a freetaker especially if it’s an important one so I do love being a freetaker and it is definitely one of my favourite parts of the game”.

She is fortunate that her commitments as Vice Captain don’t take away from her time devoted to practicing spot kicks, she praises Laurie Ryan for this. “It’s Laurie that does all the talking really I’m only there in the background occasionally if she needs support”.

This year the I.T Tralee graduate decided to focus solely on Ladies Football having been involved with the Clare Senior Camogie team for a number of seasons. An outing in Croke Park this July to watch the Clare footballers was significant for the Kilmaley camogie player as she made herself a promise leaving the stadium.

“It was brilliant seeing them there and the massive support they had on the day and I was there myself and it was great to see them get so far, you’d get some inspiration to get back there and say ‘this isn’t the last time I’m going to be in Croke Park this year’ and try get there and play there myself, it was great to see the footballers do so well and it definitely gave us some encouragement and helped us along”.

Being able to adapt and respond to changing situations is a sign of a successful individual, while she may be doing it without her sister Ailish is in the right frame of mind heading into Sunday’s clash which itself is a positive sign for the County.