Healy makes her move to Mourneabbey
The transfer of Dublin footballer and multiple All Star winner Noelle Healy to the Mourneabbey club was ratified last Monday night at at County Board meeting and was passed by 23 votes to 18 when the motion was put to the delegates.
Healy's move to the All-Ireland Club champions has a lot to do with her work as an anaesthetist, which sees her take up a position in Cork University Hospital, and relocate to the Mourneabbey area to live.
For the standard of footballer she is, it was no surprise that Healy sought out the north Cork club - which has won the last five county championships and are the reighning All-Ireland Club champions - as her team of choice for the coming season.
Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne was delighted with the news when he spoke to The Corkman this week, pointing out that Healy will bring serious pedigree to a side already bursting with talent.
"She is a huge addition. I said it already that if there was a transfer market in ladies football then Noelle would be right at the top of the list," Ronayne told The Corkman. "As part of her qualifications as an anaesthetist she has to do a year in another hospital so she is down in Cork for the year. She expressed an interest in playing with us so we told her that she would have to be living in the Mourneabbey catchment area and she was delighted to do that. She expressed an interest in joining and put in her paperwork in Dublin and we were really happy to take her."
The addition of Healy to the panel is obvious for all to see and Ronayne feels it will put plenty more bite into his already impressive attack.
"You try to improve your panel year on year and this opportunity has come our way - a player of her calibre is definitely going to improve things. We were very potent last year and this will make us more potent. We might lose players to retirements and J1's and things like that so we are not exactly sure where we are on that yet as we are not gone back training yet but I would hope to have everyone available from last year and adding Noelle into that is a huge boost."
The manager understands the trials of a successful All-Ireland campaign and is no real rush back to training just yet - unlike some of his players.
"We are planning on doing a training session on March 23. We are just going to ease our way back into it. We have a league game the following weekend and won't get down to the serious stuff unil May.
"Everyone is still on a high from last year and we have a team holiday coming up at Easter and that will cap off and finish the previous year. Once that is open we will get back down to business then. Once you have won one year people are looking to win another. The first target for us is the six in a row in Cork."
"We got the monkey off our back last season with the All Ireland win but now there is a target on our backs. People are delighted that we got the win but now they will want to beat us. That is the way it is and we will have to deal with it - and Noelle will hopefully help us in that regard."