Farrelly cherishes stellar season

BEING crowned FAI Under 19 Women’s Player of the Year last month was the icing on the cake in what was a stellar season for Peamount United’s Niamh Farrelly, writes Gavin Dalton.

Indeed the Lucan native enjoyed an impressive run of form last season, that brought with it other personal accolades including Continental Tyres Womens National League Player of the Month in September followed by a nomination for WNL Senior Player of the Season.

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And after scooping the FAI honour this month, the 19-year-old insists that it came as a bit of a surprise to her.

“I didn’t really expect it. “Obviously I was delighted just to be nominated, then when I actually won it I on the night, it was just great” said Farrelly.

Farrelly, a versatile player, comfortable operating in the centre of midfield and defence, puts last season’s success down to good timing and extra work behind the scenes.

“I think when I finished off with the 19s in April, that’s when my season sort of peaked.

 “I worked on my fitness and I worked on my technical side of the game, then we seemed to gel together as a team and I think that just helped me to progress as a player”, said the DCU student.

Captaining her country’s Under 19 team is an experience that will live long in the memory of Farrelly as one of her proudest moments, albeit at the expense of another special occasion- her Debs.

Laughing, she said: “I actually missed out on my Debs over that”.

“The training camp fell on the same week of my school’s debs, so initially I was real upset over it.

“But then when they told me I’d be captain for the year, it all went out the window and I was buzzing.”

After further hugely impressive performances on the field, Farrelly was rewarded with the finest prize of them all; a call up to Colin Bell’s senior international squad.

“That was huge. I didn’t expect that at all really” recalled the Sports Science student

“When I got called up it was a shock, but I was over the moon. I was excited to get in with the squad and just see what it’s like. The difference in the standard is huge but it was definitely a great experience.”

Some busy times lie ahead for the ‘Peas’ midfielder and her senior team mates, as they prepare for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifiers.

The squad is in for a ten-day camp in Italy this month in what will provide some good preparation for the qualifiers which commence on September 3 at home against Montenegro.

Maintaining such a high standard is not by any means an easy feat. Farrelly’s intense schedule highlights the dedica-tion needed, as she strides to reach the pinnacle of her game.

“It’s pretty intense. I have Peamount twice a week, I have my college team on a Monday, then I train with Colin on a Wednesday with Homebase and then obviously I have my own gym and individual sessions, followed by a match at the weekend, so it’s pretty full on”, explained Farrelly.

In terms of personal aims for the year, Farrelly is very focused saying “For Peamount this year, we’re hoping to win the league. We dropped short last year, which was disappointing considering the talent we have in the squad.

 “Obviously we lost in the cup final that was something we wanted. We did win the league cup but definitely the league and the FAI Cup final are the ones I want to win this year.

“Then with the Ireland squad obviously my goal at the start of the year was to just get into the camps, and I’ve been in the past two camps, so hopefully I get into the April camp and from there, push into the squad, then try get into the starting 11 for the Euros campaign”.

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