Cora Staunton's eyes on club prize ahead of Australia departure

By Emma Duffy 

MAYO star Cora Staunton is not letting letting her focus turn from her club’s bid for a sixth All-Ireland senior title despite the recent news of her move to Australia.

It was confirmed last month that she’ll link up with Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFLW.

Despite her contract having started on 10 November, she’s stayed on Irish soil to captain her club Carnacon to a ninth club final.

And her entire focus is on the decider against Cork and Munster kingpins Mourneabbey in Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.

“Obviously Australia is the main talking point for a lot of people but to me, I’m just focusing on Sunday and hoping that we’ll get over the line,” Staunton said at the launch of the All-Ireland club finals on Tuesday.

“Mourneabbey; they’ve been there, thereabouts and they just haven’t gotten over the line so we know it’s going to be very difficult.

“They’re trying to get over the line, we’ve got over the line quite a few times but we’ve lost also and haven’t performed in All-Ireland finals.”

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for the Mayo veteran.

Head to head: Carnacon captain Cora Staunton (left) with Mourneabbey skipper Bríd O’Sullivan.

Between that heartbreaking loss to Dublin in September’s All-Ireland final, a hectic club schedule and the confirmation of the move Down Under, she’s hardly had time to think.

She admits she hasn’t looked back on that inter-county defeat just yet, but that’s probably no harm. It’s always eyes on the next challenge.

Staunton is relishing her shot at the professional game in Australia and flies out on Tuesday.

“I haven’t thought too much about it with trying to keep the focus on the club,” she smiles. “Looking forward to it, but looking forward to Sunday first.

“It’ll probably be Tuesday evening when I’m flying to Abu Dhabi that I get into that mode of AFL and stuff.”

She’ll be in Australia until mid-April, meaning that she’ll be back on Irish soil for the majority of the inter-county season.

And so there’s the question of her future in the green and red jersey.

But she’s remaining tight-lipped. No decisions will be made until April.

“I can’t make any decision going forward because physically, I don’t know what shape I’m going to be in coming home,” she continues.

“Some say, ‘You should be in better shape, you’re going out to a professional environment,’ but this is month 12 happening now. Next week, 12 months of the season will be done and I have to try and fit another four in.

“So whether the body will be able for that… [It depends] how the body is, how the mind is come April. If I’m able to go for another season, who knows?

“Will I be able for another couple of months with Mayo? Who knows. I could be in great shape or I could be the opposite.”

But that’s to the back of her mind at the minute.

Her focus is on the green and red of Carnacon, and the 60 minutes of football that stand between her side and a coveted sixth All-Ireland senior title.

“It’s 15 years since I captained the team to our first All-Ireland so 15 years on we’re going for our sixth one so who knows. 

“For the club it’s great to be back. There’s just that culture in the club for winning, we don’t really know much more.”


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