Noelle is Dublin's True Blue Tornado
Healy's pace and panache a major plus for Jackies and Brigid's
NOELLE HEALY loved athletics. Still does.
That was her first sporting interest. She was a member of the Metro St Brigid's club.
She has fond memories of Eamonn Coghlan coming down to give them a couple of training sessions.
"He's a lovely man. He had a lot of time for us. To be able to train with somebody of his stature was just brilliant. He made a big impression.
"We used to do the Christmas run, and after the race we'd got back to Eamonn's house for mince pies.
"I still have a big interest in athletics and I follow it all the time."
Noelle was a 200-metre sprinter. And it's easy to see. Her lightning speed cheers up games.
For St Brigid's or Dublin, she can get on the ball in her own half and move away from the tackles with all the grace of Sonia O'Sullivan coming off the last bend.
There's nobody faster in the sport. And her powerful bursts cause much concern for defences.
She is enjoying life with the Dubs. This term saw them reach their first ever National League Division 1 final.
Cork pipped them in Parnell Park. And now it's the fabled Leesiders once again on the last Sunday in September.
"We are working hard but having a lot of fun at the same time.
"The training is challenging, and we put it up to each other. And that is what helps everybody."
The Championship has seen Dublin progressing with gusto. And Noelle's form on the half-forward line has been a valuable asset.
In the opening TG4 Leinster Championship tie against Kildare at Johnstownbridge, she got 1-2.
The following week against Westmeath in Portmarnock she enhanced her all-action display with a tidy point. And then in the Leinster final at Portlaoise, Noelle returned another 1-2, plus a five-star performance.
Her scorching second half goal proved telling against Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final in Birr, and her pace and polish helped the Blues overcome Galway in the Mullingar semi-final.
"Our form has been good this season," she notes.
"A lot of young players have come into the panel."
She can recall her own early years with the Dubs, first arriving onto the senior squad in 2007.
Three years later came a blue-letter day and a memorable All-Ireland final appearance in Croke Park.
That was in 2010 on the afternoon Dublin won the Brendan Martin Cup for the first time.
"I came on as a sub in the last few minutes. To be on the pitch when the final whistle blew was special."
This summer also saw Brigid's turn a few heads. They reached the Dublin Senior Championship semi-final, pushing the eventual champs, Na Fianna, all the way.
"We trained really hard from Christmas. We put a lot into it. The win over Fingallians, last year's champions, gave us a lot of confidence.
"But Na Fianna are a strong team. And they deserved to win the semi-final.
"We have a super squad and management at Brigid's. We have Dublin seniors, plus the Dublin U21 goalkeeper, Ciara Trant, who has been a big addition, and Dublin minor, Leah Mullins."
Noelle's quick feet will relish the Croke Park sod.
Victory for the Dubs this month and a county title coming to Russell Park in the not too distant future would be something to behold.
Success like that would taste even better than Eamonn Coghlan's mince pies!