It would be remiss not to remark upon the news yesterday that Cora Staunton has announced her retirement from the AFLW, having played six seasons Down Under with Sydney club GWS Giants.
When she left for Australia in 2017, Cora had already done more than enough in her LGFA career to seal her status as a legend of the fast-developing game here. Four All-Ireland medals, three National League medals and eleven All-Stars were complemented by county and All-Ireland honours with her club Carnacon.
In Australia she took up where she left off here, blazing an impressive trail in the process. She was the first international player to line out in the nascent AFLW and in her six seasons with the club she appeared 50 times, becoming the first Giants player to hit that landmark. In four of those six seasons, she was the top goalscorer for the Giants, bagging a total of 55 goals. (Stats from the Irish Times – here.)
Cora’s success paved the way for several LGFA players to make the switch to the professional game Down Under, including a number from Mayo. Our loss has, in this respect, definitely been the AFLW’s gain.
Back in Ireland again, Cora is now involved in a coaching role with the Galway camogie team but, in this piece on the RTÉ website, she says she plans to “still tip away and play with Carnacon”. She’s not finished yet, you know.
The best of luck to Cora as she embarks on the next phase of what’s already been, in so many ways, a remarkable sporting career.