Tuesday 27 September 2016

Meet Fiona Hudson, the Dubs ace hoping to match boyfriend Paul Flynn's All Ireland success

Laura Larkin

Published 26/09/2015 | 10:16

Fiona Hudson (inset with boyfriend Paul Flynn)
Fiona Hudson (inset with boyfriend Paul Flynn)
Dublin player Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet
Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson
Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson
Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Dublin Senior Football All Ireland medal presentation dinner at the Convention centre. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson

'Jackies' defender Fiona Hudson is looking to add a second All-Ireland medal to her home after her other half Paul Flynn's success with the Dublin men's team.

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The Fingallians player was in Croker to cheer on her boyfriend last Sunday and now she is hoping to replicate his success when the Dublin ladies take on Cork in the All-Ireland final tomorrow.

"It's great to have each other," said Fiona. "Even in terms of your eating and our sleep patterns, we're on the same page. It's easy that way."

"We have that understanding of each other that we are both putting in the same commitment," she added.

Dublin player Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet
Dublin player Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet

"You have to be disciplined in every aspect of your life, for the last nine months but particularly the last three."

When it comes to discipline Fiona admits she is following her other half's lead.

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"I'd say I could definitely learn a thing or two from Paul," she joked.

Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson
Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson

"He's a very committed driven player, there's no doubt about it. I think everyone knows that about Paul. He'll always give it 100pc."

The pair have had a low-key few months because of their commitment to playing football at county level.

"I think we're a good balance but it's not been too exciting in our house, that's for sure - no big parties, no social life.

"It's worth it in the end when you're in Croke Park on the last Sunday," she pointed out.

Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson
Pictured at The Dublin Ladies GAA Football Squad training at Parnell Park was Fiona Hudson

Fiona missed out on last year's All-Ireland campaign as she finished her Masters in Community Development and Youth Work in NUI Maynooth.

Watching her teammates from the side-lines on the day that they suffered a devastating loss against Cork has given her a different perspective, she said.

"When you could see them crumpling at the final whistle it was hard to watch," she said.

Now that she is back in the sky-blue jersey she is enjoying the build-up to the final.

Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Dublin Senior Football All Ireland medal presentation dinner at the Convention centre. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Dublin Senior Football All Ireland medal presentation dinner at the Convention centre. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins

"Having that year out has given me a bit of passion and drive to come back and give it everything this year," she revealed.

"Preparing for an All-Ireland final you shouldn't really take anything for granted - they don't come around that often," she said.

"As a team we don't really feel that much pressure - I think we are all just enjoying it. We're very close-knit so it's great to be preparing for something together and not let the outside influence you."

It's a mammoth task as the Cork ladies are on track for their tenth All-Ireland win in just 11 seasons.

"If you're looking for an All-Ireland you're always going to have Cork in your sites, and it's important not to underestimate them, but I think if you're worthy of an All-Ireland medal you need to be beating them," Fiona said.

"Any game you go into is going to be a battle and it's going to be nothing short of that on Sunday but I think we're well prepared and looking forward to the challenge."

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