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HOW INCREDIBLE CATHERINE BEGAN HER INTER-COUNTY GAELIC CAREER AGED 37

first_imgCatherine in action for St Eunan’sA LOCAL ladies gaelic footballer has made her debut as an inter-county player – at the age of 37!At a time when most players have retired, St Eunan’s footballer Catherine Fletcher donned the jersey of her native Derry in the Ulster Junior Final….and she only took up the sport FOUR YEARS AGO!And although they lost out to Antrim, she is already looking forward to an All-Ireland quarter final against Carlow on August 7! The mother-of-three lives in her adopted Letterkenny with husband Keith and was persuaded to line out for St Eunan’s by Senior Ladies coach Alan O’Connell in 2012.“I never thought I’d ever play inter-county football,” said Catherine – known at her club as ‘Fletch’.“In fact a few years ago I never thought I’d even play gaelic football, never mind play it at that level.”The game’s administrators at Croke Park confirmed to her a few weeks ago that although she lived in Donegal and played her club football here, she was eligible to play for either Donegal or Derry – so she went along to the Derry trials at Owenbeg and was selected. And she was picked to start in the Ulster final.“We lost the game but it was a huge honour to play for Derry. It was really very special,” said Catherine.“I know we are now into the quarter-final of the All-Ireland against Carlow so I’m going to continue to work hard and hopefully I’ll get a run out in that game. It really is still sinking in.”Catherine’s entire life has been sports orientated.And she has brought all her skills learned in other sports to play in gaelic football. She played Netball for Northern Ireland at U16/18/21 and Senior Level. She played in numerous European Championships and played in the 1999 World Championships in New Zealand when she was 20 years old.She retired from netball after a knee injury aged 22 but went back to playing soccer.She played with Quigley’s Point Swifts and Redcastle FC in the Inishowen League, Derry City Ladies in the Northern Ireland Premier League, Letterkenny Rovers and Lagan Harps in the Donegal League.She won two Intermediate FAI All Ireland Medals with Lagan Harps. She has been a PE Teacher at Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry for past 14 years.Catherine also studied Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Ulster Jordanstown, winning various inter varsity titles in both netball and soccer.Now she has really taken to gaelic.She was St Eunan’s Senior Player of the Year last season and was appointed club captain this year.“I would say age isn’t a barrier to anyone playing gaelic football,” she said.“There are a lot of women out there who maybe played the game in their youth and their 20s and then gave it up due to career or family or going to college. It’s never too late to come back to sport.”Catherine receives her player of the year award – aged 36!Catherine – wearing No4 – in the Derry line-upHOW INCREDIBLE CATHERINE BEGAN HER INTER-COUNTY GAELIC CAREER AGED 37 was last modified: July 3rd, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Catherine FletcherDerryDonegal Ladies Gaelic FootballLadies GaelicSt Eunanslast_img

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