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Aodh Ruadh Dual Star Rebecca Barker takes the Loughtec 1-15 Challenge

Monday 29.03.2021
Team Talk Mag
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1: Who or what first got you into the GAA?

My family definitely had a big influence on my participation in the GAA and sport in general. We all played growing up with our neighbours, and always had a kickabout or puckabout in our own Croke Park in their garden.

2: Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

I think my parents have had a huge role to play making sure we all got to every game and training session as well as getting to nearly every game they could. I’ve had a lot of great coaches who have each had their own influence on me playing too, Louise Daly was a big one growing up especially when I was involved in the underage county setups, as well as Caroline McGrath who’s been involved in almost every team I’ve played on.

3: Who has been your most difficult opponent and why?

Shannon Quinn is a difficult opponent to play against, she can play anywhere on the field. She’s a smart player, and is really physical so you know you’re going to have a good battle coming up against her.

4: Apart from your home club, which club ground in Tyrone do you most enjoy playing on? 

I’ve alot of great memories playing on Killyman’s pitch, and a lot of good days there too so always look forward to getting to play there now.

5: Most memorable or inspiring words of advice you have ever heard in a changing room?

I could write a book with some of the quotes that have been pulled out in the changing room! It’s not inspirational, but one that has stuck with me is “rules are there to be bent, not to be broken”.

6: Club volunteer of note?

There’s a lot of volunteers doing a lot of work behind the scenes within the club over the years. Caroline McGrath is up there with the work and effort she’s put into the club from the start, and our chairman at the minute, Paddy Ferran, I don’t think he has missed a game over all age groups since he stepped up.

7: How is your club currently ensuring it is playing its part in the community? 

They’re doing a lot of work with the men’s club at the minute to get a new clubhouse set up which is going to mean a lot for the town with the facilities it has since it’s not just the football teams that use it. They also stepped up with other local groups to help provide supplies to those who needed it during this pandemic.

8: Are there other sports you enjoy playing or have a keen interest in? 

I haven’t been able to play basketball this year since indoor sports haven’t been allowed to happen so I’ve had to get my fix watching the pro-leagues overseas and college basketball. I play camogie too with Dungannon.

9: Which county side, if any, look capable of defeating Dublin in the championship?

Donegal is up there with them. I think they’d be wanting to put right what happened when they played Dublin in the championship this year with that goal.

10: How would you describe your own involvement in the club?

I’m just a player at the minute, would love to get involved in coaching when my own playing career is over.

11. What rules, if any, would you like to see implemented or changed in the modern game?

I think the women’s game is missing more physicality being allowed in it. The camogie association has already made rule changes to allow more physicality and I’d like to see the LGFA do the same.

12. If there was a transfer market in GAA, what club player in the same division as you would you like to see playing for your club and why?

Maria Canavan or Grainne Rafferty are players I would ike to see in a ruadh jersey. They’re both good friends with a lot of girls on the team already so they’d fit right in and they’re both great players so they’d be an asset to anyone.

13. Any superstitions or routines that you have or use on match days? 

Nothing in particular, I’m not a big fan of the hype before games so I usually zone out before playing.

14. Do you have a favourite training drill or one that you dread hearing the coach say is coming next?

We have a shooting drill that is great if you’re having a good day, but is the most frustrating thing you can do on a bad day.

15. Last year’s club championships were very competitive, what are your predictions for the championship winners across all three divisions this year?

Senior: At Macartans, Errigal, Kileeshil all had a good year last year and could be contenders this year

Intermediate: Edendork or Trillick

Junior: Coalisland

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