herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Something blue.. Victorious Jackies swapping jerseys for wedding dresses

Celebrations: All-Ireland champs prepare to walk down the aisle

THEY'VE just captured their first All-Ireland Football title, but for two of Dublin's star Jackies the next few months will see them acquiring a title of a very different nature.

Avril Cluxton and Louise Kidd are set to swap 'Miss' for 'Mrs' as they each prepare to tie the knot.

Veteran player Cluxton, sister of Dubs goalkeeper Stephen, will walk down the aisle next May when she marries fiance Brian. Louise will follow in September when she says "I do" to her fiance Fergus.

And for both men, Sunday's historic win means they'll finally get to see a little more of the women in their lives.

"Fergus is very supportive," beamed Louise. "He's like all the boyfriends here. They go to all the games and are always there cheering us on.

"Everyone knows the effort we make with training but people forget the effort that's required for our families and boyfriends. They have to make sacrifices too."

Until now, all preparations have been focused solely on the task of bringing the Brendan Martin cup to the capital. But following Sunday's emphatic win over Tyrone, the two brides-to-be can now start planning the next big day.

Louise (27) revealed: "I'm going to go dress shopping with my mother in the next few weeks. I haven't really done anything else yet."

And while the St Peregrines star has fixed the wedding for next September, she's hopeful that the month will feature another day out in Croke Park as they bid for a second All-Ireland title.

Exuberant

Following Sunday's incredible victory, the exuberant team and their families celebrated in style in Bewleys Airport hotel. Yesterday, following a party that lasted well into the early hours, they headed for Temple Street and Crumlin children's hospitals with the all-important silverware.

There, they received a rapturous welcome from the children desperate to meet the new footballing heroes. As the festivities moved on to D2 in Harcourt Street yesterday afternoon, the girls found themselves inundated with tributes from delighted Dublin fans.

A well-earned break is on the cards for the girls and their manager Gerry McGill as they bask in the glow of their success. Yet, there'll be no relaxing for players Sorcha Furlong and Colleen Barrett, who are gearing up for a trip to Malawi next month.

The girls are travelling to the African country to volunteer for the Playing For Life charity, an initiative with which Dublin goalkeeper Cliodhna O'Connor is already heavily involved.

"We're going over there to teach sports," explained 24-year-old Sorcha. "Myself and Colleen have to raise €4,500 each so we'll be doing a lot of fundraising now that the final is over."

Colleen added: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us and we're both teachers so we'll be on midterm break from school then."

Colleen (23), who teaches at Scoil Oilibheir in Blanchardstown, added: "The school has been very supportive. Last Friday the kids came in wearing Dublin jerseys and the parents have been great."

afinneran@herald.ie

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