FAI CUP FINAL: DOIREANN FAHEY INTERVIEW
FAHEY LOOKS FORWARD TO AVIVA SHOWPIECE
By Daire Walsh
With a significant milestone already passed in her fledgling soccer career, Monasterevin’s Doireann Fahey is hoping to add another string to her bow in Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated FAI Women’s Cup decider at the Aviva Stadium.
The 17-year-old Ardscoil Rath Iomghain student played a starring role for Wexford Youths last Saturday week, when the Slaneysiders successfully retained their Women’s National League title with an accomplished 3-0 victory over Cork City.
She joined Wexford from Peamount United in July and will now face the Dublin-based outfit in this weekend’s showpiece affair. Having sampled the wide expanses of the Lansdowne Road surface in the past, Fahey is thrilled to be making an unexpected return with her current club.
“I remember I had a chance to play there when I was younger for a competition and I thought it was unbelievable. Back then I never would have thought I’d be going there again. Especially to play with Wexford. It’s mad where things take you,” Fahey said.
“Now that I’ve the opportunity and all my family and friends are going, I’m really, really excited for it. Just even to have the opportunity to be on the telly, it’s amazing. You really do get to have that little moment of fame, that little moment of professional fame, that you might not always get.”
Upon signing terms at Ferrycarrig Park, Fahey was doubtless aware that she was joining a special group of players. Senior international Rianna Jarrett is perhaps the most recognisable face among their ranks, while skipper Kylie Murphy has been an inspirational figure throughout the current season.
Despite only being in the set-up for a relatively short period of time, she has developed a strong bond with her Youths compatriots.
“I knew when I was signing into the club what could have come. I was playing with a team that weren’t cocky. They knew what they wanted and in the end they got it. It was great to be around a bunch of players that early on who could do it,” she explained.
“It’s a great group of players and I’ve learnt a lot from them. Just being with them for a half-season, they do genuinely deserve it a lot.”
While the move to Wexford has helped Fahey to become a first-team regular in a team that is accustomed to success, the 18 months spent at Peamount has aided her extraordinarily rapid development.
Facing the Newcastle side remains a peculiar experience for the blossoming teenager, albeit one she is slowly getting a handle on.
“I must say it is still kind of strange. I trained with those girls for basically a year-and-a-half. At the same time, the girls in the Wexford team settled me right in very quickly,” she said. “It’s quite weird playing Peamount the odd time, but I think I’ve gotten used to it now.”
Wexford will be aiming to round off 2018 with a treble triumph on Sunday. In addition to the Women’s National League trophy, they also edged out Cork in the National Development Shield final in early October.
Fahey missed out on the latter because of her commitments with the Ireland U19s in the UEFA Championship qualifying round, which saw Dave Connell’s charges record three consecutive wins.
“The [international] qualifiers are always a great experience. Literally from the start, I think every girl wanted to prove who they were there and they wanted to get on the pitch. When players got that chance to get on the pitch and make the impact, they genuinely did,” Fahey said.
“Hopefully we just pick up as much as we possibly can for the next round, which we should hopefully find out about soon.”