'We know how to win and our confidence is high' - My LGFA Life with Kildare's Erica Burke

My LGFA Life with Kildare’s Erica Burke

Age: 25

Club: Thomas Davis

Occupation: Trainee Solicitor

County debut: 2012 v Donegal

Notable achievements: 2016 Intermediate Leinster and All-Ireland champions


  1. How have you found your experience of playing Ladies football?

Football is a great representation of many areas in life. You experience great times and have to work through tough situations too. In a sporting environment there is always something to work towards, which I love.  You can analyse your successes, identify areas that you are strong in and areas you need to improve.  The highs and lows teach you about resilience, dealing with disappointments and appreciating things when they go well.

  1. What was it that sparked your interest in sport from a young age?

My parents say I was just born with an interest in sport. I gravitated towards football from when I could walk. From a very young age I would spend every spare hour practising.  It was all I ever wanted to do.

  1. When did you first put on the Kildare jersey and how big a thrill was that?

My earliest memories of wearing the Kildare jersey are from underage blitz competitions in Carlow. Looking back I was probably obsessed with the competitive nature of sport from those early days.

With Republic of Ireland soccer legend Niall Quinn 

  1. What is the best thing for you about playing football?

Being involved in football has always given me self-belief that I’ve sometimes lacked off the pitch. When I have a football at my feet or in my hands I feel confident.

  1. Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

On the pitch – Aisling Holton. From a very young age I was shown the standards that are needed to reach the top of your game.

Off the pitch – my parents and my boxing coach Sean. Their support and encouragement has always been second to none. I value their advice about everything in life.

  1. What are the main challenges that you have faced in your career so far?

I’ve had a lot of injuries. Suffering two cruciate injuries has been tough to deal with both physically and mentally. It had the potential to turn me away from the game completely, but thankfully I’ve had great support to help me get through those setbacks.

  1. You’re back on the KiIdare panel this year after some time out. How have you found it?

This year with Kildare has been the most rewarding from a personal perspective.  I had to be extremely disciplined to get myself back to the fitness levels that I was at before taking the time out and at times doubted that it would be possible. To feel confident in my own ability again, to be unbeaten in the League campaign and to do it with such a knowledgeable and supportive management team has been very satisfying.

  1. What do you do for a living, and how do you manage the work-life-sport balance?

I’m a trainee Solicitor, currently doing the PPC1 in the Law Society. Yes it is a balancing act but I’m more aware now of the choice that I have in that. Each element is a positive in my life. I have no complaints!

  1. What are your hopes and aspirations for the rest of your career?

Continue to learn, continue to challenge myself, and keep improving particular elements of my own game. Of course another All-Ireland title is the goal for this year, but I’m aware of all the external factors that it takes for that to happen. I just want to focus on what I can influence and hopefully the results will follow.

  1. Have you played other sports?

I played camogie and basketball growing up. More recently I’ve played soccer which is something that I’d love to focus on more in the next couple of years, injury and other things depending. It has always been a major passion of mine, so we’ll see.

  1. Do you have a favourite photograph from your career? Why does this photo mean so much to you?

On the left is Ais Holton and myself in 2004, after Kildare won the Junior All-Ireland and the team visited our primary school. On the right we fast forward to 2016 where we lined out together in midfield and won the All-Ireland in Croke Park. It symbolises what you can put yourself in a position to achieve if you work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with people who want to achieve similar things. It also makes me very happy that I could fulfil the dream of that 9 year old with an apparent love for headbands.

  1. How have you and your team mates found the experience of life during Covid-19? What did you do to keep yourselves occupied?

I think the main focus for everyone has been to keep themselves and their families safe. We’ve continued to work very hard individually to maintain our fitness levels and I have no doubt that what we’ve been doing is enough to give us the best possible chance of being successful when we restart.

  1. How has your life changed since this piece with Emma Duffy in 2017? https://bit.ly/2FfIiac

I’ve learned a lifetime of lessons in the past three years. Many people’s lives change a lot in their early 20s, I’m no different. Change is synonymous with growth – if you don’t change, you don’t grow!

  1. What’s your career highlight?

Winning the All-Ireland in Croke Park in front of friends and family. Being in Citywest to see Mary Hulgraine and Ais Holton collect their awards at the All-Stars is something else that stands out. It was brilliant to see them get the recognition they deserve.

  1. How confident are you that Kildare can make a big impact in Championship 2020?

Going off evidence, we can expect to make a big impact. We know how to win and our confidence is high. We made it to the League final with two games to spare. There is an abundance of talent, a real desire to improve and a willingness to win throughout the team. We will take it one step at a time and focus on our first game against Clare.

  1. You’ve experienced the high of winning an All-Ireland medal with your county at Croke Park. How would you describe it?

So many players dream of winning an All-Ireland in Croke Park, so for it to actually happen is something that I will always be thankful for.  That team was exceptional. Having experienced a tough year on the pitch in 2017 after the win, I appreciate it even more. You really need a lot of things to go right for you and for us that year they did. Knowing how proud my parents, family and friends were was amazing.

  1. Piece of advice for up and coming young players

Focus on what you can control. The outcome of an event is often out of your hands.

  1. Who’s given you the best piece of advice during your career?

The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think Einstein has to take the credit for that one

  1. What hobbies do you enjoy?

Golf, boxing with Sean and Kenny, adventures with Elena and Christine and listening to power ballads with Jason

  1. You’re hosting a dinner party and can invite 5 people. Who’s on the list and what are you rustling up for your guests to eat?

John Cena, Pete Wicks, My McCoys family from 9th Avenue, New York, Kevin Pietersen, Jose Mourinho

I love spicy food.  Whatever I’m cooking there’ll be jalapeños involved

  1. Who’s your all-time sporting hero?

Ben Stokes. He is superhuman

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