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Samantha Lambert: “Retiring Was The Hardest Decision Of My Life”

Three-time All-Ireland winning Tipperary defender and captain for four years Samantha Lambert made the tough decision to retire from intercounty football at the start of 2021.

In her Interview with Joanne O’Riordan on the “It’s Just Sport” Podcast she goes into depth about her emotional last game in the senior championships and how she knew that it was to be her last official outing with the team that she loves. 

“[Retiring] was the hardest decision of my life but I felt that the timing was right. I suppose that I can look back on all the memories and be content with what I have achieved and the friendships too. I am so grateful for it all.” 

Having played with Tipperary since 2008, Lambert has had incredible success and achievements within the sport of football. As she says in the interview, “We came up from division 3 and won division 3 and won division 2 and we’re competing very well now in division 1.”

Captaining two of the Tipperary sides who went on to triumph in the All Ireland’s, Lambert also was successful in her efforts to climb the Hogan stand in her debut season at the age of 16.

While it may seem like a liner path to success it has most certainly not been the case. Like many in the sporting field, the Ardfinnan player has been through a rollercoaster throughout her career since its inception.

“I’ve been through it all. The ups and downs of football and sport in general.” Most notably she discusses the 2018 season and struggles and lessons she and the team experienced through the losses in that year. But in her typical fashion she led the team to learn from the experience and rebound with a renewed fire to prove a point that they belonged within the senior ranks. 

Lambert discusses the process and challenge of formalizing her decision to retire but ultimately takes heart in the new leadership and talented youth of Tipperary, of which she will not be a part of, but will instead focus on her club career.

Samantha Lambert, Ardfinnan GAA Club.
Samantha Lambert, Ardfinnan GAA Club.

She projects success and is planning to coach the U14 age group, not explicitly lining out that she would have hopes for higher age ranks in the future, but also not ruling out with the idea either! What is without ambiguity however is that she is to remain a steadfast supporter of her county. 

Dive into Lambert’s decision to retire and her future plans here on the ‘It’s Just Sport” Podcast.      

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