Praise for managers
CLAIRE has praised the people and the teams that sparked her interest in soccer, culminating in a glittering playing career that comes to an end this week.
'I would have to thank Charlie Armstrong and John Mitchell for their encouragement when I was very young,' she stated. 'At school in Rush, Eugene Aherne had me playing on the hurling team with the lads and that type of competition stood to me'.
In fact Claire holds the record of being the first female to play in a schools hurling match at Croke Park when she was 11 and she even managed a goal playing at left corner forward.
'Eugene gave me great encouragement and that confidence just grew as my career continued'.
Her first team was Rush Athletic in 1983 and by the time she was 16 she was the captain of the Irish under 18 womens team.
'I would always say that it's about getting a great start in the game and I was toughened up from an early age playing football with the lads in Kenure Park. That's where it began for me'.
The likes of Fran Rooney, her first Irish coach, Gary Greene at Bristol, Mark Hodgson at Leeds are amongst others to have furthered her cause down the years.