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17th May 2023

“College is a big priority in my life at the minute” – Duggan responds to AFLW links

Niall McIntyre

Emma Duggan is back.

The people of Meath will be glad to know. The Dunboyne star endured something of a torrid start to the year, with a torn quad setting her back for the guts of four months.

The Royals suffered in her absence, only just surviving in Division One but for Duggan herself, the real pain was missing out.

Not only was she powerless to arrest Meath’s slide down the table, worse still, she was also sidelined for DCU’s O’Connor Cup triumph.

But after the tedium of a rigorous rehab regime, Duggan is now ready to rock and roll.

“My body’s co-operating with me now thankfully,” says the Optimum Nutrition ambassador in an exclusive interview on The GAA Hour.

“I picked up a quad injury in December and it took the best part of four months really to get it right. I had a few setbacks here and there, thinking it was okay, and then suffered a setback.

“That was frustrating, missing the League – especially when the girls weren’t doing too well, you were mad to get in there to give them a hand and help them out.

“One of the most disappointing things too was missing the O’Connor Cup, because that’s something you don’t get to play in every year,” she added.

There were strong rumours that, like many of her team-mates, Duggan was Australia bound this year, for a season AFLW. But the DCU student says that, at the minute, it’s not on her radar.

“I’m still quite young,” she says,

“I’m still in college, studying accounting and finance and that’s a big priority in my life at the minute.

“I’m quite happy playing for Meath now as well. It’s a good time that we’re in at the minute and I think you’ve to embrace that and enjoy it.

“I don’t think I could really jet off to the other side of the world at this moment in time but look, it’s not a no forever.

“I haven’t thought too much about it now, and until the right time comes, I probably won’t, so I’m just enjoying what I’m at the minute.”

Duggan is one of the most prolific shooters in the game, and she puts a lot of that down to her practice regime. A multiple county championship winning footballer with Portlaoise, her dad Liam has also played a part.

“Coming up to the summer now, I like to get up to the pitch once or twice a week in my own time and then as a group we try to do it before training as well.

“It’s something I love doing, and it’s great to get the confidence going ahead of games, knowing that you’ve kicked a few balls during the week.

“Dad was the ball-man alright,” she adds.

“Since I was younger, he’s been a massive influence on my life and sporting career, you know, he’s always been a big motivator.

“He can be your toughest critic but he can also be the first to give you a compliment as well. He can be great for a bit of advice as well.”

Pictured is Meath footballer, Emma Duggan, at the recent announcement of Optimum Nutrition as the Official Performance Nutrition Partner of the Gaelic Players Association. To mark the launch, Optimum Nutrition is giving Gaelic Games clubs across Ireland the opportunity to win a top prize worth €25,000 of a state-of-the-art gym and a year’s supply of Optimum Nutrition® product.

You can listen to the full interview right here.

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