“Ever So Proud” Caitlin Hayes Aspires To Be Louise Quinn Mark II

“Ever So Proud” Caitlin Hayes Aspires To Be Louise Quinn Mark II
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

Celtic player Caitlin Hayes had a debut to remember on Saturday, helping the Irish WNT to a clean sheet and three points in their first game at the Aviva Stadium.

It tops off an extraordinary weekend for the centre back who only received clearance to play for the team on Friday, which also happened to be her 28th birthday.

It was the best birthday present I’ve ever had” the Warrington-born woman says, beaming with delight after the game having qualified for Irish citizenship via her Offaly born grandfather, James Hayes.


“The paper work is just how it is, it’s nothing new and everybody knows the struggles that you have with it. 

“I’ve been patiently waiting for a good old number of years now to get into this team so thankfully it came through and I got the opportunity. It’s one that makes me ever so proud, as well as my parents in the stands.”


That burning desire to represent the Girls In Green is reflected in the humble and content nature she displays when speaking on just being present within the camp in general, never mind as a starting player under new interim manager Eileen Gleeson.

“When the opportunity came I just wanted to grab it with both hands, to any degree” she says.

“To be in this squad in any capacity whether it be as a water girl or a first team player is something I would have taken. I’ve tried for a very long time and it’s something I desired and wanted to be able to represent that side of my family so when I got the opportunity I took it whether it be as a training player or not.”

Caitlin Hayes , Louise Quinn's successor?

Although in a defensive position, Hayes was key to Ireland’s attack versus Northern Ireland, slotting through passes and acting as an aerial threat, particularly around set pieces.

Those attributes are familiar to the former Everton, Mississippi College and Lewes woman, who looked right at home in the Irish defensive line alongside veterans Diane Caldwell and Louise Quinn.

Indeed, it’s even the latter of whom Hayes intends to replicate in her own play, acting as double of sorts to the Birmingham City leader.

“It’s something that I’ve always kind of been in a team as a kid, I’ve always been that tall girl” she says.

“I can't attest to being taller than Louise Quinn but everybody knows what she’s about, so it’s probably Louise Quinn’s understudy coming in and around.

“I played against her once when I was at Lewes and she was at Arsenal and I was just in awe of the way she holds herself, the leader she is and the way she plays the game so calmly. 

“That’s something I just hope to be a sponge around her and just learn from her as much as I can.”

With that in mind, Hayes took all in her stride and wasn’t phased by playing infront of nearly 36,000 fans at the Aviva Stadium, instead believing that that is their rightful place to play.

“It’s a stage this team deserves to be on and it’s a stage women’s football deserves to be represented on with the growth of the game,” she says.

With Hayes as their new addition, there’s no telling as to the further heights her and the Irish WNT will go.

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