Dubs star Dr Healy looking for right tonic for match
IT ain't easy being Noelle Healy.
The Dublin senior footballer is hoping to achieve All-Ireland success this weekend while combining her football career with her regular job as a doctor at the Mater Hospital.
The 24-year-old from Castleknock is one of the more experienced members of the Dublin side, who face Cork in Sunday's Senior Football Final, having being first selected in 2007.
Earlier this year, Healy qualified as a doctor.
"You'd be training in the evening and then have long days in college, so you have to be quite prepared.
"There's a need to be quite disciplined; that means the two things kind of complement each other.
"Then there's the psychology and exercise side, nutrition and things like that. Doctors very rarely work independently; they're always part of a team, so I think that has helped me," Noelle said.
She rarely has downtime after life in hospital and on the field, and admits it impinges on her social life.
"Being a top-class athlete and hitting the town have never been known for their compatibility, and combining it with a heady study requirement is only going to exacerbate the problem. I used to get a good bit of slagging from friends as a result," she said.
"I'd never be out. I always wanted to do medicine. I always wanted to do well, rather than just scrape by. With football, you have no choice but to work hard. You need to be prepared. You need to have your stuff for hospital, and for college. I had to be very organised."
Having been on the panel for several years, Noelle is more naturally prepared for the big day than most.
"Myself, Sinead Goldrick and Niamh McEvoy were the youngest for a good while," she explains.
"It's been a huge overhaul. All of a sudden we were amongst the oldest. There's been a few really good young players. They're very ready," she said.