“We felt like we were finally getting back on top of our performances”
Dublin’s Orlagh Nolan believes shutdown came as Jackies were starting to motor again
By Daire Walsh
BALLINTEER St John’s footballer Orlagh Nolan feels the shutdown of sport undoubtedly arrived at an inopportune moment for her and her Dublin Senior Football team-mates.
Following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Cork and Galway, Dublin returned to winning ways in their most recent National League Division One outing against Waterford on March 8.
It was also Nolan’s third successive start in the Dublin defence and she felt the side were beginning to click after a patchy run.
“We probably weren’t playing our best football, but I think we were always working up towards championship with the league really. We were trying to get stuff right and our last match there against Waterford was probably our best performance.
“We felt like we were finally getting back on top of our performances and then to have it all called off at the end. It was disappointing just to not be able to build on our performances.”
Prior to joining Mick Bohan’s set-up, Nolan was perhaps best known for her prowess on the soccer field. Following an earlier stint at Shamrock Rovers, she spent five seasons with UCD Waves in the Women’s National League.
She also previously earned four caps with the Republic of Ireland Under 19s, scoring in an 11-0 demolition of Latvia in October 2012. During this time, she rubbed shoulders with future senior internationals like Denise O’Sullivan, Rianna Jarrett and Kilnamanagh’s Katie McCabe.
“They would have been great players to play with and you can kind of tell at that age that the three of them were really geared towards going into the professional game. Katie McCabe has been a fantastic captain. To become captain when you’re so young, it stands to her and she 100% deserves it.”
Despite having 69 senior club appearances under her belt, Nolan departed UCD in the aftermath of their FAI Cup final defeat to Cork City in 2017. Having lost interest in one sport, she rekindled her love for another upon her subsequent return to Ballinteer.
“I didn’t really find soccer as fun anymore. I kind of just lost interest in the competitiveness of it. Then I just went back with my club and the community spirit and the sense of enjoyment that you could get out of any level of game, I think I just really fell back love with Gaelic at that time.
“I just went from there, had a really good year with the college team [TU Dublin] and then found my way on the Dublin team. It was really great to fall out of love with one game and to be able to rise back up with Dublin. It was just great.”
The Ballinteer footballer admits she is experiencing ‘the best of both worlds’ during the current lockdown.
The Dublin senior panellist – who claimed Leinster and All-Ireland honours with the Metropolitans in 2019 – is training to be an accountant and has seen her initially hectic schedule significantly altered by the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Thankfully I’m still working away from home. I’d be 9 to 5 and then I have exams coming that were supposed to be the end of June. Obviously with everything going on they’ve been pushed back to August,” Nolan said.
“I have blocks of study. I’ve probably the best of both worlds with a bit of time off, a couple of weeks off and then working for a couple of weeks. Really what has changed for me is being at home as opposed to being at the office.”