Tipperary has a rich heritage with sport and in particular GAA. Did you know that Tipperary won the first ever All-Ireland Ladies Football title back in 1974 and Samantha’s club, Ardfinnan was the first team founded in the county. Ever since, ladies football has flourished in the county with numerous underage and Intermediate All-Ireland titles added to the role of honour. I have personally been lucky enough to share the field of play with Samantha representing Tipperary from underage right up to Intermediate and Senior. Samantha is a determined and committed player who also starred on the field of play with Colaiste Dun Iascaigh, Cahir winning the 2006 Junior Post-Primary Schools All-Ireland title and in college with UCC winning the O’Connor Cup final in 2012. Last year saw Tipperary win the Intermediate Munster Final for the first time ever and Samantha stepped up to the plate to accept the trophy, since then she has been captaining the team ever since.
Tell us about your first or favourite sporting memory?
My favourite sporting memory would have to be winning the O’Connor cup final with UCC in 2012. We went into the weekend as complete underdogs and ended up winning it. It was just as much a surprise to us as it was to everyone else.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring athlete in your sport?
Give 100% in training and in matches and have no regrets. Practice both left and right foot kicking and hand passing. Practice makes perfect.
What advice would you give to someone who was dealing with a tough time in their life or setback in their sport?
Everyone goes through tough times at some point in their lives but it’s important we come out the stronger person at the end of it and learn from it. My advice would be to do what makes you happy!
What emphasis do you put on food and diet relating to your performance or do you think food and diet has any importance for your performance?
In recent years, I’ve taken my diet more seriously and I believe it has made a difference in some ways to my performance and energy levels and how I feel in general. I think it’s vital to have a good healthy balanced diet to get the best out of your body but it’s important to treat yourself too!
How do you find the time to plan and prepare meals or do you eat out every day whilst juggling a career in teaching and an intercounty football career?
I prepare all my food at the weekend. I chop all my vegetables and prepare some dinners so I can freeze them in batches for during the week. Preparation is key to a successful diet and keeping on track especially during busy times.
Give us some insight into your typical match day food?
Typically, our matches start at 2 o’clock so I normally have porridge with blueberries and raspberries at around 10 o’clock and then around 12 o’clock I might have a brown bread banana sandwich and maybe a yoghurt.
What is your favourite type of food to eat or dish to cook?
I love making my own vegetarian fajitas with sweet potatoes fries on the side. If I was to go out for dinner I love getting pizzas even if it is only a margarita!
What are your favourite places to eat out in Ireland?
Baileys in Cashel and Eco in Douglas, Cork are two of my favourites when going out for dinner. My lunch favourites would have to be Quimby’s in Clonmel and Perry Street Café in Cork City!!