With 17 All-Ireland medals across football and camogie, Cork's Briege Corkery remains one of the most decorated GAA players in history.
The formidable midfielder's ability to self-motivate after so many September successes is the source of much wonderment; Corkery, after all, balances farcically early mornings and almost 500 cows with playing two sports at the highest level, and has done so for over a decade. "I suppose when you're winning, people love to see you fall," she told us ahead of two more All-Ireland finals in September. "That's definitely another motivating factor. Maybe that's all it is."
Speaking with Lisa Lawlor on RedFM's Big Red Bench on Sunday, Corkery elaborated on her decision to play on following the departure of Cork's long-reigning manager Éamonn Ryan, and explained that a friend-slash-rival, Mayo's Cora Staunton, inadvertently spurred she and her teammates on in 2016:
Yeah, I suppose there was a lot of drive behind it as well. People were saying would we do it without Valerie Mulcahy, would we do it without Éamonn [Ryan].
I suppose one thing that I kept on my phone from the start of the year was Cora Staunton saying that we were very vulnerable without Éamonn. I kept that saved on my phone. I dug my heels deep for that anyway, and I had told a lot of the girls about it.
Who needs a dressing-room wall when you have a Whatsapp group?
Mayo and Cork never ultimately clashed in the Championship, with the Westerners being pipped at the post by Dublin, who went on to lose to Corkery and co. at Croke Park. Ephie Fitzgerald's side has won 11 of the last 12 All-Irelands, and in doing so has become one of the greatest sports team this country has ever seen.
Explaining the greatness behind the greatest. https://t.co/1yrQOOI7qK
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) December 9, 2016
You can listen to Briege Corkery and her fellow 17-time All-Ireland champion Rena Buckley on RedFM.