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Mayo's Cora Staunton Reacts To Making History In Australian Women's Sport

Mayo's Cora Staunton Reacts To Making History In Australian Women's Sport
By PJ Browne
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Cora Staunton made history on Wednesday by becoming the first international player drafted by an AFL women's club. Staunton was taken with the 46th pick of the draft by the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

She will become the second ever Irish woman to play in the league. Laura Corrigan was the first when she signed as an undrafted free agent for Melbourne last year.

Speaking to Darren Frehill on Radio One's Morning Ireland, Staunton said she is going to seize the opportunity.

"To be a professional sportswoman for a couple of months is going to be huge. Especially, at my age, I didn't think I'd get this opportunity. I'm going to grasp it with two hands and perform to the best of my ability."


She also explained how the move came about.

It all started last year when I was out at the Asian Games as an ambassador. I met Nicholas Walsh who's a Cavan guy and is working out here with Great Western Sydney Giants.

He told me that the women were setting up a professional league. We talked about it and didn't really say much. This year then, I got a message from him asking would I be interested in it and the coaches would like to talk to me.

That conversation was initiated in July. Staunton's busy inter-county and club schedule meant she was unable to travel to Australia until this week. She flies home on Saturday, a club game with Carnacon awaits.

The 35-year-old is planning on moving to Australia in early December. It all depends on how far her club goes in the All-Ireland championship.

It's a very short season. I'll move out once the club championship is over. Depending on how we do with Carnacon, we're in a Connacht final when I go back at the Bank Holiday weekend. I'm aiming to move out the first week of December, that's when the club All-Ireland series is over. I'll probably go out after that.

It's a seven-game series. If you get to the final, it's eight games. The first round starts at the end of January.

Once that's over, I'll be back home again. I've been lucky enough that my employers have given me a couple of months off work. I'll go back to work around the start of April to mid-April.

It had been expected that Staunton would retire from inter-county football following Mayo's defeat to Dublin in last month's All-Ireland final. However, she has not yet made a decision.


"I don't know. I've no decision made on retirement and stuff like that. Obviously, I'm coming to the end of my career in football. It'll buy me an extra couple of months to make the decision. We'll see how the body is come March. I'm not ruling anything in or out."

Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

See Also: 'Whirlwind' 48 Hours For Cora Staunton As She Becomes Pro Aussie Rules Player

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