Busy dual star Egan rewarded for her Faithful service
Offaly sharpshooter wins Player of the Month award for camogie while Cork’s O’Sullivan claims football gong
Gráinne Egan with her PwC GPA Women’s Camogie Player of the Month Award for May at Tullamore GAA club in Offaly. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
In the latest step towards furthering equality in men’s and women’s Gaelic Games, Gráinne Egan and Ciara O’Sullivan have been named as debut winners of the PwC GPA Women’s Player of the Month awards for May in camogie and football respectively.
Ironically, versatile dual star Egan might well have picked up both awards.
Egan starred for Offaly’s football and camogie teams throughout the last month, and on one memorable weekend racked up a combined 4-13 as she helped the county to two wins.
It’s only since moving to Tullamore GAA club to take up a secondary school teaching post in the town that Egan has taken on both codes, although she did play soccer and camogie throughout her teenage years.
“It’s been quite hectic, Monday was my only day off for a while there,” says Egan, reflecting on the last busy month.
“It’s just trying to be smart about it, but I couldn’t imagine doing this if there was any opposition, people saying ‘it’s a bad idea’. Róisín Egan [no relation] is doing both as well, and that makes it a bit easier too, that I’m not doing it all alone.
“It’s nice too because maybe some of the results haven’t shown it the last few years, so it’s nice to get some positive attention. It’s been tough at times, and I think Covid-19 helped a little bit, and being a teacher too, the summer holidays have come at a good time too.
“It’s hard managing the two, but I know I’m very lucky, and that both managers are very positive about. Looking at the championship ahead there are no fixtures for now, and hopefully that will continue.”
The women’s games, despite the increasing demands and commitments, still includes more dual status players than the men’s, and Egan is particularly encouraging about continuing that in the underage ranks.
“I played soccer and camogie all up along but never women’s football. It was only when I was at school here in Tullamore that I was asked to help out, and then I realised I better start to learn the rules anyway!
“Before that there was no football where I was from, around south Offaly and north Tipp. Being a PE teacher too, I’d be a strong proponent of playing as many sports as you can, for as long as you can.
“I look at the kids at school, and it’s the ones who play nearly all the sports are the ones who go the furthest. It’s good to see in Offaly anyway that a few dual players are still going.”
These monthly awards follow the merger between the women’s GPA and the men’s GPA, PwC extending their sponsorship to establish the new monthly awards scheme which now also recognises outstanding individual achievements in camogie and women’s football.
The prizes on offer for the winners will match those presented to the male monthly winners, the winners also voted for by the GPA’s membership.
Ciarán Clarke (Antrim) and David Clifford (Kerry) were the Players of the Month Awards winners for May in hurling and football respectively.