*Ailish Considine with her mother Kay in St Brendan’s Park, Birr. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

AILISH CONSIDINE had a longer journey than most to assist Clare in winning the Lidl Ladies Football National League Division 3 title.

In December, the Kilmihil woman called time on her AFLW career after six seasons across two clubs, Adelaide Crows and the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos, winning Premierships in 2019 and 2022.

After returning home to Ireland in the New Year, she re-joined the county ladies football panel in February.

On Saturday, she kicked 1-2 and finished as Clare’s top scorer as they won the Division 3 title for the fifth time. “I wouldn’t score if the ball wasn’t kicked into me to be honest, the workrate of every single player out there was immense especially in the first half which is where I think we won the game with the effort there. I’ve had a lot of work to do personally to get used to the round ball again but we’ll keep working on it and we’ve a long season ahead,” she said of her contribution.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Ailish recalled that it was over a decade since she last tasted National League glory with her county. “I was just thinking about, the last time I played a league final was back in 2011 when it was Division 3 and it was the last time Clare won a league final, it’s been a long road from then and a long road from Australia, I’ve been out of Clare football for five years so it’s good to get the win on the return”.

Given that her mother Kay is a former PRO of the Clare LGFA and with the Considine’s interest in the GAA, it comes as no surprise that Ailish was closely following the performances of the Clare ladies during her six years in Australia.

Having kept up to speed, she was aware of the talent within the panel and it made the decision to join the panel much easier. “I had been keeping track while I was away and knew that there was really good talent coming through, it was an exciting prospect this year with the chance of winning Division 3 and then hopefully finishing off the job with an All-Ireland intermediate at the end of the year seeing as they fell just short last year. The talent is there and the opportunity is there so it was a big draw for me to come back”.

Ailish Considine. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

She felt Clare have not won enough finals so was hopeful that Saturday’s win can give them a big lift ahead of their championship bid. “You need to get into the habit of winning, it is one of the things we’ve lacked in the last few years, Clare is not traditionally a winning county so the more we can win and the more tight games we can turnover win that gives experience for the bigger days ahead”.

Members of the Clare ladies football squad are noted coffee enthusiasts, Ailish is chief among them. Her Saturday morning trip to Sourdough Farrell prior to heading to Birr may have had a small impact on her impressive performance, “it is one of the best back in Clare and keeping us all going at this stage, I think every single one of the girls has been in and out of the place”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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