Niamh Fahey’s football focus
After several years of juggling work and football commitments Niamh Fahey is looking forward to 2015 and an opportunity to focus fully on football.
Last month she signed for English FAWSL side Chelsea bringing to an end an eight year career at Arsenal during which she won five league titles, five FA Women’s Cups and the FA Women’s Premier League Cup. She also quit her day job as a research scientist and is now ready to concentrate full-time on football.
“It was definitely difficult trying to juggle everything and I was having to cherry-pick all the time. I had reached a stage where I wanted a bit of a change of scene and the opportunity to train during the day was appealing as was the prospect of playing once again in the Champions League,” said the 28-year-old.
Fahey missed last year’s camp in La Manga because she was recovering from a cruciate ligament injury sustained in 2013 and is enjoying this week’s visit to the South East of Spain.
“It’s been really good,” she said after completing her fifth training session in three days. “It certainly has helped to get rid of a few cobwebs after a good Christmas. We also have a few new faces in and they’ve looked good during our ball sessions.”
The squad have a training game on 15 January against Norway who are also in La Manga this week and lost 2-3 to Sweden on Tuesday night. But, while the Irish are preparing for the Istria Cup in March and the start of the Euro 2017 qualifiers, the Norwegians are firmly focused on this summer’s Women’s World Cup Finals in Canada.
“It’s going to be great playing them. They are going to the World Cup so they’ll be good opponents to play against,” said Fahey.
Women’s National Team manager Sue Ronan admitted she won’t be reading too much into the result of today’s encounter as it is only a training game with multiple substitutions being allowed.
“It’s not a full international so we certainly won’t be too concerned about the result. It’s really an opportunity to blow away the cobwebs as the players in the squad who are based abroad are out of season while the home based players haven’t seen any action since before Christmas break,” said Ronan.
“For us this is a pre-season camp with the emphasis on assessing the fitness of the squad, getting in some hard training sessions, honing our plans for the coming year and bonding. We have five new faces in the squad so it’s a change to integrate them into the group and give them an ideal of what senior international football is about.”