A 3-0 win away from home had been achieved but for one player in particular there was no time to celebrate.
Dora Gorman had played a part for Peamount United in that success, away to Treaty United in Limerick last Sunday, but she had only a few hours before she was on duty at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
“I just had to sort it out, make sure I had enough rest and could get to and from the match. So I played at 2pm and I was in work at 8.30 on Sunday night, it’s not easy, but you still do it,” says the Galway native.
The win wasn’t such a major occasion for Peamount, the reigning WNL champions who are on a roll in the 2021 season, but being there is a big deal for Gorman and it was just her second appearance for the Dublin club this season after a four-year break from the game.
“I missed it, it was such a part of my life growing up so to get a chance to play again was great, once I got back into training, I don’t know how I did without it and it’s only when I went back I realised how much I missed football,” Gorman, a Republic of Ireland international, says.
It’s not that the 28-year-old was taking things easy: in fact, with her track record of playing at a high level in soccer, Gaelic football and hockey, while also finding the time to go through a degree in medicine and embark on her career in that field, she has to be among the busiest people in Ireland.
But four years ago, frustration with a persistent hamstring injury caused her to step away from soccer and find other things to do.
“I had a lot of issues with my hamstring, it started in 2012, it took me a year to get over the first issue,” she explains.
“I did get back but had a lot of pain ongoing and it got to a point around 2016-2017 where I was having a lot of hamstring worries, every few weeks it would break down, and playing Gaelic was a bit easier so I took a step back from soccer to play Gaelic. As well as that I was coming towards the end of college and that was getting busy, so I needed more time to focus on that.”
Her talent was a magnet for other sports and Gorman excelled in Gaelic football and hockey, playing up to senior level with the Galway side while she was a contemporary of many of the players in the Irish hockey team which has caught the attention of the nation recently, and it’s tempting to wonder ‘what if’ in terms of hockey, and a possible trip to the Olympic Games?
“If I could, I’d love to play all the sports but there are not enough hours in the day. I knew a lot of the girls in the hockey team from playing underage with them and it’s fantastic to see them in the last while, I don’t want to think ‘what might have been’, I focus on what I do now. And I know how much time and effort those girls put in to their hockey and it’s only in the last year or two that they get the recognition, that came from 10-15 years of hard work,” Gorman says.
After a spell where the Galway ladies team and study got the bulk of her attention, the soccer itch came back, once surgery had cleared up her hamstring issues, and Peamount, where she played between 2011-’13, were happy to have her back. “It’s strange, there are players who were only eight or nine years old the first time I was here and now they’re in the first team,” she laughs.
There will be extra demands this season, as Gorman hopes to be part of a Champions League tilt with league leaders Peamount later this season, while she senses that the league has become stronger in her absence.
“When the league started out, the gap between the top and the bottom was big but that’s closer now, teams can take points off anyone, the squads are stronger and we have to work a lot harder to win games.”
And there’s work to cope with, Gorman is planning to enter the radiology field later this year but there are no complaints.
“My schedule isn’t too bad, I won’t have to work nights for a while, the day job is on the wards in the Mater. Yes, it’s tough but I am lucky to be able to work, over the last year unlike a lot of people I was able to go into work every day and play my sport as well, I see myself as being very lucky compared to a lot of people,” she says, batting away the praise.
“It was tough for everyone in different ways, tough on people who couldn’t work, I was just doing my job,” she concludes.