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Family affair as McNally sisters get set to hit the road with Monaghan ladies again

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Monaghan’s Therese Scott

Monaghan’s Therese Scott

SPORTSFILE

Monaghan’s Therese Scott

Earlier this week, Monaghan ladies footballer Therese Scott's baby girl turned one. And after this week's return to club action, there was plenty to celebrate.

Playing under her maiden name, Therese McNally won an All-Star in 2011 as the Ulster side were on a run of 10 provincial titles in 12 years. Now a mother of three, Scott is back and hoping for a first win since 2016.

Returning to the county fold was helped by her sister Grainne, also making her comeback following her marriage and the birth of her son.

The McNally sisters had been to the fore of Monaghan's drive to three TG4 All-Ireland finals in 2008, '11 and '13, but playing the game is very different now for the Tyholland natives.

Growing up, they were never far away from a GAA field. Their father Owen is a former manager of the county ladies team, Ulster GAA president and county board chairperson, as well as a founding member of Tyholland ladies team - along with their mother Eileen.

In 2002, Eileen played in goals as the club rounded off a memorable year by winning the All-Ireland junior club football title at Croke Park. Owen was the manager and all five of their daughters played that day.

Coming back to the county team, it was important for Therese to make sure Isla (5), Bobby (2) and baby Julia (1) got an early taste of the game, and every effort has been made by her team-mates to make that happen.

"We took them on the bus to Kerry the weekend we were playing there. Myself and Grainne took the kids with us. We were staying overnight so we said we'd give it a shot," said Therese, who now plays her club football with Emyvale.

"Mammy and Daddy would have always taken us with them for their games. The best part of football we remember growing up was on the bus with the Monaghan ladies team.

"I took my oldest two, and Grainne took her wee boy Darragh to Kerry. Isla still asks about it, 'when can we go again, back on the bus with the girls?' It was great for them."

Despite having two Lidl National League games under her belt before the season was halted in March, making her return to football wasn't as smooth this time around for Therese. In 2016, she made a rapid return to the team following the birth of Isla, but this time it took a little longer.

"After each child it got harder to come back. I had split my tummy muscle after having my second, the wee boy. I got pregnant so close again it got worse this time.

"After both of them I had physio to go through and I wasn't really allowed to do any lifting for the first six or seven weeks.

"After about 12 weeks I was able to do a bit of light running. It was harder to get back for sure. This time I said I wasn't going to come back at all, but you really do miss the game.

"I think it's nearly like a drug for me, especially as you get older and you have kids and your social life isn't as busy, it's more that you need something.

"The thing I missed the most is meeting up with the girls. Going out to football in the evenings lets you totally forget about everything. It has been a tough few months away from the game, but it looks like we'll be back playing county football in the middle of October, at least that's something to look forward to."

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