'Concussion would not stop me playing' - Camogie star Ashling Thompson
Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30
She knows the significance of concussion but Cork camogie star Ashling Thompson admits it would take more than a head injury to remove her from the action because she would feel at fault if her team were to lose.
During last September's All-Ireland win against Galway, Thompson went head over heels in a tackle before landing heavily on the ground but even then she stayed on before revealing that she didn't even remember giving her captain's speech.
The 25-year-old midfielder had suffered concussion before and the symptoms didn't quite compare so she had no problem lining out in club championship with Milford the following week. Such is her frame of mind.
"I said I was 100pc fine because I don't care, I hate coming off the field no matter what," she said. "It's really important to be aware of it but then again I'd still turn around and say I'm fine. I would do the tests but it would take a lot for me just to walk off the pitch.
"I hate coming off the pitch and I'm a great actress, sometimes I think I should even get an Oscar. Obviously it's extremely important and I definitely don't take it lightly at all but that's just my mentality.
"Nobody is to blame really but myself. I knew well I was totally out of it and especially when the final whistle went I just felt really light-headed and totally spaced out but at the same time it didn't override the feelings I had of winning an All-Ireland final."
If she had been substituted and the game had turned, she would've felt she was the one to blame. But in the heat of the moment nothing came into her mind except walking up the steps of the Hogan Stand.
"I'd feel 110pc responsible even though it wouldn't be my fault. I would feel like you should've said nothing and that I should've stayed on the field especially in an All-Ireland final," she said.
"I know your brain is more important but at that moment in time it's not. Nothing is more important than winning an All-Ireland so I'd feel 100pc responsible for a loss."
Thompson and her Milford team-mates will make the trip to Croke Park again this Sunday for their clash with Killimor and a third All-Ireland club title in four years will be on their minds. The heartbreak of last year's semi-final defeat still haunts them.
"Last year was a huge disappointment," she said. "We were shocked and even six months down the line, someone would bring it up and it would literally bring tears to my eyes. And all the girls were the exact same, it was like losing someone."