Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Ladyball drummed up huge response' - Rena Buckley

Cork's Rena Buckley in Croke Park (SPORTSFILE)
Cork's Rena Buckley in Croke Park (SPORTSFILE)

Michael Verney

Cork dual star Rena Buckley believes Lidl's "light-hearted" Ladyball campaign has created a positive reaction for ladies football as she continues her record-breaking journey on the playing fields in 2016.

Along with Briege Corkery, Buckley claimed a remarkable 16th senior All-Ireland medal last season and speaking at the landmark announcement of Lidl's €1.5m partnership with the LGFA, she welcomed the publicity created.

"My brother was on to me giving out about it and I didn't realise it was a big prank at all. It was light-hearted, enjoyable and has drummed up a response," she said.

"It's great to get a bit of ladies football in the media especially at this time of year. The more people at the game, the better for ladies football but currently that's not my big worry while still playing."

It will be an unfamiliar scenario for Buckley and her football team-mates this year with 10-time All-Ireland-winning manager Eamonn Ryan moving on to become a selector with the men's side.

Currently managerless, Buckley feels working under a new boss will be a major adjustment which they must embrace while she expects Ryan to thrive in his new role.

"It will be a big change, particularly for older players there a long time because we haven't seen much change at all," Buckley said.

"We're very grateful for all the time and effort he put in, it was phenomenal in football terms and he's helped us all in different ways.

"Without a doubt, any team to have Eamonn is blessed. The day is always going to come when he has to move on, as all of us will move on. That's come now and we have to face a new challenge now."

Buckley, a self-employed physio, acknowledges that dual life is getting tougher and tougher but winning always makes it easier.

"It's very hard to walk away from teams that are going well," she said. "We've had two super years, that's a big draw. Please God, everything will go well again this year."

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