Lochside Garage

Fermanagh GAA star makes winning start Down Under!

FERMANAGH GAA star Joanne Doonan is living the dream Down Under as the first ever Fermanagh woman to play professional Aussie rules.
And the Kinawley woman, who was Fermanagh captain when they contested last year’s Junior All-Ireland final, has got off to a winning start winning her first game with the Carlton club.
The 25 year old (pictured right) has made history after becoming the first Fermanagh-born player to be recruited by the AFLW, the Kinawley native was signed up shortly after captaining Fermanagh in Croke Park back in September.
Speaking to the Herald from Melbourne on her AFLW debut, Joanne said, “The game was at 8:45am at home. There’s such a big hype over here, something you’d never even imagine even for a final at home so it was really nice to experience that and be selected for the starting 21 which was a relief.”
The proud Kinawley player spoke of her love for the GAA and how she has adapted to the run of things down under, “It definitely has its challenges. I wasn’t happy with my performance in the first practice game as I felt a bit lost. My position as a forward is dictated a lot by how well your mids are performing, so it took me a while to get used to it.
“However, you get used to it and learn quickly. There’s a lot of transferable skills too but the physicality is definitely upped a lot,” she explained.
While catching rays in the Australian heat seems better than catching the cold back in Fermanagh, Joanne admits that at times she finds it hard being being away from loved ones, “You miss home a lot, especially with football starting again, you always feel like you’re missing out.
“My brother and his girlfriend live in Sydney so it’s nice to know they’re there and they were down for my debut game which is was great, face-time is great to chat with home regularly,” said the All-Star.
On Friday, Doonan’s Carlton side produced a dominant display against their traditional rival Richmond, bagging a 34-point victory in the AFLW season opener.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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