St Brigid’s goalkeeper Ciara Trant says the evolution of the goalkeeper’s role in ladies football has been key to her rise to the county’s number one as she looks forward to Sunday’s All Ireland finale against Cork.
Trant has been a key player in the Jackies’ journey, pulling off outstanding saves this year at key moments before Dublin hammered Galway in the All Ireland semi final last month.
Trant admitted that coming back at All Ireland football champions this year was “a bit different, but that was 2017. When we came back, we just got on with it.”
For her, the change in her role has been key,
“The evolution of the goalkeeper has happened as I’ve been playing,” Trant told the Dublin Gazette. “I used to look at it as being a traditional goalkeeper, stopping the ball and hoofing it back out.
“I’m glad I’ve changed, though, I think it suits me more as a goalkeeper coming from an outfield background to play a more rounded game.
“I wasn’t getting a game and they asked me to play in goal. That was in the 2012 All Ireland minor semi-final,” she says of her move to between the sticks.
“In training, we work on our defensive and offensive game plans, all together. The standard of ladies goalkeeping overall is improving, definitely. I think it will improve a lot more.
“I’m focused on getting through the training sessions as best I can. The technical work has improved, though.
“It was a weakness in the women’s game before.
“Women have a size and natural agility disadvantage compared to the men so you do see goals go in over people’s heads sometimes. You never have your six foot girl in goal!”
There’s still a substantial bit of Trant that would like to be outfield, attacking the other goal, she jokes, recalling playing outfield for club Brigid’s in certain games.
“There’s nothing nicer than the glory of scoring, especially when you’re the goalkeeper! I don’t think I could compete outfield in the Dublin team, though, I’m happy enough in goal here.
“I did two small-sided games outfield in training, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I gave it socks in those games, I really did. With my club, I’d like to play outfield a bit more but I’m happy in goal for the county. I haven’t had a chance to play outfield this year.”
As for the final? “I think both Dublin and Cork have improved since last year, and we have to trust in our training,” Trant says.
“It’ll be good for ladies football. We feel like we’re a different team to last time we played them in the final.
“That rivalry maybe isn’t the same. We parked the games in the past, we don’t dwell on those defeats. We don’t carry being All Ireland Champions with us, either. It’s a new season, it’s just about winning.”