CLANN Eireann ladies footballer Laura Brown has a string of accolades to her name gathered over several years playing for both her club and county, yet one of her best performances in an orange jersey came in the recent All Ireland Intermediate Final win over Waterford.
The Lurgan girl was awarded the TG4 player of the match and her performance, particularly in the second half, inspired her teammates to push for victory. Laura takes her football very seriously; her club are currently performing at the business end of things in the Ulster series and when the current season grids to a halt she will move indoors to concentrate on gym work over the winter months.
Laura, who works in the catering department of Lurgan hospital, said she ‘felt at home in Croke Park’ considering the big number of Clann Éireann girls who played in the recent Intermediate Final and she believes that the county team can progress to challenge at Senior Championship level. With ladies football continuously on the up, this week the Lurgan Mail sought the views of Laura Brown who recently reached national stardom playing the game she says she loves.
Q: How did you feel when you were awarded the player of the match award in the recent All Ireland final?
It was an amazing feeling; I was in shock.
Q: Do you see Armagh challenging for honours again in the senior championship?
Yes, there’s no reason why the girls can’t challenge for senior next year; there’s a good mix of older and younger girls who have worked well together this year.
Q: You mention the young players. if you had to pick a young player to succeed in the future who would it be?
There are a few girls you could pick from, but Niamh Henderson is a star. She’s only 17 and is getting better every time she plays.
Q: Have you always played at centre full back?
No I have been thrown into a lot of different positions; full forward, centre-half back and now full-back. I’m just happy to be part of such a great team with friends and clubmates around me.
Q: Do you see it as a bonus when you play for Armagh along with so many local girls and what makes the Clann Éireann players so good?
Yes, it’s great, especially having six of your club mates beside you makes it a lot easier because you know where they are going to be on the pitch. All the Clann Éireann girls have played together from very young age and we have a lot of talented players. It seems we have that extra determination to win every game; we have a bond that makes us work hard for each other.
Q: What needs to be done to keep Armagh ladies at the top?
The girls need to stay together, train even harder and stay committed. When the football season is over, we all tend to use gym work keep us ticking over until pre-season and we should keep doing that; it will help us so much next year.
Q: If you were not playing gaelic football what else would you be doing?
I personally couldn’t see myself doing anything if I wasn’t playing Gaelic; it’s been big part of my life but sometimes I would like to just chill out because the football takes over sometimes.