And just like that, I’m sure my season is over. I thought I had a good grasp of Mayo’s Niamh Kelly, but she just couldn’t get it right. I overexerted my shoulder and I fear the worst I’ll fall to the ground with a wound in my right arm.
I scored a 74-point win over the West Coast Eagles but then I couldn’t hide my despair. When it comes to trauma, I’m an instinctive pessimist; I focus on the possible consequences before the pain can be felt.
There’s so much going through my head: ‘I can’t believe I’m going to miss the final. . . ‘,’ how would I manage in a house full of teammates revolving around the game? ‘, and ‘what about my family – are they coming to watch me play at the end of the month? ‘.
Twenty-four hours later I was mentally exhausted. We flew back from Perth that Sunday night but didn’t land in Brisbane until 1am on Monday, when we were told we would have to spend the night in a city hotel because of the many children. The road is impassable due to severe flooding along the Queensland coast. . I barely slept, what-if-happens turned my mind into a marbles machine.
Thankfully, my CT scan results that morning brought a smile to my face – I’ll only miss a week or two when recovery goes as planned. I can’t even describe the relief.
I only missed one game – our Round 9 win at North Melbourne – and I was back last week against the Western Bulldogs with a renewed vigor and a reckless perspective.
I haven’t missed a game since I first came here in 2020. I don’t know what it feels like to stay in Brisbane and do a training session with the injured team or those who weren’t selected during the team. into the field. to Melbourne chasing four points.
I’ve never seen a live Brisbane Lions AFLW game on TV. Can not affect the results, 1,700km in another state, it is difficult to go.
The girls took our place in our final against North Melbourne with extra time. It was reported that I would probably be rested for another week, but I returned to training a few days later determined to compete in Round 10 – I can’t face another weekend of analysis. sofa.
I’ve done all the icing, rehab, and pre-training that my shoulder can handle, and luckily, it paid off. I soon hit the ball again – with better technique – and managed to get back on the field with the Bulldogs to help us finish our regular season on a high, with a 66-34 success in one game. strong outfit.
With eight wins in our last nine, we’re brimming with confidence looking forward our qualifying final against Collingwood; the problem is we don’t know when it will be played right now after a Covid outbreak in the Magpies camp resulted in the postponement of tomorrow’s game.
It will be third to sixth to see who has a chance to topple second-placed Melbourne on the road.
We have the home advantage against the Magpies as the higher ranked team. It’s a pity that the initial timing could not proceed as it was planned who closed the curtain for the men’s season opener against Port Adelaide at the 42,000 capacity Gabba. We were hoping for a large family crowd.
We played Collingwood at the same venue 12 months ago in the preliminary final – one leg further, in the last four – and won the final by four points.
With our home field advantage and as the defending champions, we were strong contenders – when the game was green-lit.
But I have no doubt about the Magpies – with Cavan’s Aishling Sheridan and my companions Irish independence Biarist artist Sarah Rowe continues – will build on last year’s pain when they bid to create a big gig.
We beat them well at Maroochydore earlier this season, but the Sunshine Coast pitch is always windy and very exposed to the elements – which was especially dismal that afternoon.
It would be completely different in the setting of a modern stadium; The atmosphere and predictable conditions in Gabba will suit even teams that like to play a sport of football.
From a personal standpoint, I feel like I’m in bounty territory. I wrote off my season in long hours of reflection after my trip to Perth.
My mom and sister Áine are coming out next week – they can see a game in Gabba right now, that would be great – and my dad will be watching them if we get back to the finals – so no pressure!
If things don’t go our way on the pitch – we’re three wins away from repeating last year’s Premier League success – it would be great to have at least some family around for events. post-season events, as the club’s best and fairest award.
They might even be here to rule on AFLW’s most innovative player’s gong; I was surprised and honored to be one of the tournament’s four contenders earlier this week.
What will happen after this season’s finale is something that can be guessed right now. I’ll probably have to reassess my right shoulder to begin with. I had surgery on it a few years ago and it hasn’t given me a hard time since, but that’s the second time it has flared up this season.
I was shocked, like most players, when I heard the next AFLW campaign could start in August, meaning the pre-season will start in June.
We know the day will come when the Irish girls will have to choose between our counties and the semi-pro sport Down Under, I just didn’t expect it so soon.
It’s still unconfirmed, we won’t know until this season is over, but it looks like a lot of us could have some tough decisions to make as I can’t imagine much. the club will want us to go home to football – and in my case camogie too – during pre-season.
It’s been great to chase the summer of the past few years, being able to play different sports at a high level and gather some memorable life experiences along the way, but I guess the AFLW season is on the way. away from the also significant hottest months of the year and has gradually become relevant to the men’s campaign, which runs from March to September.
The AFLW will have 18 teams next season, just like the men’s tournament. The main goals will then be to run campaigns concurrently – with multiple dual titles to help with visibility and growth – as AFLW turns professional in 2026.
As a player who cares so much about my club, my district and the Brisbane Lions, you don’t want to let anyone down. But there’s no point in thinking too much about the hypothetical dilemma at this stage, the past few weeks have taught me a lot about the negative thoughts in the rabbit hole that can bring you down.
Our game against Collingwood is all that matters right now, whenever possible. Things off the field can wait.
⬤ Orla O’Dwyer is one of 14 Irish women competing in the AFLW 2022 season, and the Brisbane Lions star – along with Sarah Rowe (Collingwood) and Cora Staunton (GWS Giants) – reported back to life Down Under for ‘Irish independence’ and independent.ie throughout the campaign
https://www.independent.ie/sport/womens-sport/i-was-sure-my-season-was-over-this-all-feels-like-bonus-territory-41460056.html I’m pretty sure my season is over, all this is like bounty territory