Meath footballer Emma Duggan lights up when asked in the latest The Her Sport Show episode how it felt to secure the All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship for the second year running.
"It was absolutely brilliant," says a smiling Duggan, also an ambassador for the European Week of Sport: "It was really satisfying, knowing the challenges and the obstacles we've had to overcome. We didn't have one easy game this year. To be able to back it up makes it that much sweeter, to show people that we weren't just here last year for one go — We're here to stay and I think we proved that this year."
In our exclusive interview, Duggan also shares her thoughts on the upcoming changes in her team, as Vikki Wall and Orlagh Lally leave for Australia to play with the AFLW and manager Eamonn Murray. "All we can do is play with the girls we have here... it's a chance for other girls to step up, there's a huge amount of really experienced girls and younger girls coming up, we have depth in our panel." Of Murray's departure, Duggan admits it was an emotional scene after the final, but says it's a chance for the team to hear a fresh voice and fresh ideas. She also has confidence in the team's ability to adapt because it is "very player-led": "On the pitch, it's down to the players."
But as an ambassador for the European Week of Sport, Duggan encourages everyone to get moving — whether in football or any form of exercise (she herself did Irish dance as a child). What Duggan emphasizes to those who may be "on the fence about trying something new" is the incredible friendships that are made in sport: "You do make friends for life, that's always going to keep you playing... You spend more time with them than you do with your family."
To hear more from Duggan on what it feels like to make an impact on younger kids, if she's ever considered coaching, and the importance of playing a variety of sports, watch the video here or on YouTube.