13 June 2023
~5 minutes read
LGFA: Plenty to Bark And Bit in This Triple Threat Trio of Galway Girls – Lynsey Noone Chats to AIG
Lynsey Noone currently has some people’s idea of a dream job, working in a ‘doggy day care’ while contemplating her next career move.
Not only does she love animals but the Glenamaddy dog kennels where she works are owned by Niamh Fahy, whose father PJ was the man who led Galway’s ladies footballers to their only senior All-Ireland in 2004.
“PJ calls in every few days and when I go for lunch all we do is talk about football,” Noone laughs. “I can see why Galway won the All Ireland when he was manager, you’d die for that man.”
Wherever her professional life takes her next it will always revolve around gaelic football and not just because herself and sisters Hannah and Eva are stalwarts for Galway’s seniors and Kilkerrin-Clonberne with whom they have won back-to-back All-Ireland senior Club championships.
She also won two O’Connor Cups (third level) with the University of Limerick (2019 and 2022) and genuinely credits football with getting her through a tough college course (BA in Food Science and Health) and finding her best friends who are, ironically, also among her biggest football rivals.
“Football can be demanding but actually if it wasn’t for football I don’t think I’d have got through college, it’s a real outlet when you’re trying to balance so much,” Noone said at the launch of AIG’s renewal of its five-year insurance partnership with the LGFA.
“Studying for exams and assignments is so stressful but once you get to football (training) it alleviates that stress and you also make friends for life,” she says.
“I met three Kerry girls in First Year- Fiadhna Tangney, Hannah O’Donoghue and Siobhan Burns – and we lived together for three years. If it wasn’t for football I would never have met them.”
Noone captained Galway’s minors to an All-Ireland in 2018 and, at 23, is the eldest of the Tribes Noone siblings.
Hannah (21) and Eva (20) are both in NUIG, studying biomedical science and agricultural science respectively, and the latter is continuing a family tradition as they grew up on a cattle and sheep farm.
“My dad thinks it’s one of the reasons we’re the footballers we are. I don’t know about that but I do think it stands to us in that we’re not afraid of hard work. When you come to training it’s no different. We’re not afraid to get dirty and go hell for leather,” she quips.
Lynsey’s first memories of kicking ball are with her sisters and dad in the back garden: “That’s where I got the competitive streak.
“It’s really nice to play alongside then. There’s already a bond there that grows stronger from playing football. We push each other to become better players and I’m very grateful that we’re making memories that we’ll cherish for a long time.”
But the siblings are very different, she stresses, as people and players.
“Hannah is very calm, on and off the pitch, whereas myself and Eva are more dramatic. If things aren’t going our way you can tell.
“Eva is very skillful and Hannah’s a wing-back who can run all day, I’m just a wing-forward who does as much work as I can. I mightn’t be as skillful but I’ll give it everything.”
Kilkerrin-Clonberne supplies 10 players to Galway’s current seniors including the Divilly sisters (Olivia and Siobhan) and the Ward twins (Louise Nicola) who all follow in the footsteps of an absolute LGFA legend.
“Annette Clarke was definitely the start of Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s journey,” Lynsey says.
“We’re just two small parishes but she’s still the only Galway woman to lift the Brendan Martin Cup and we were lucky enough to have played alongside her when we won the first (club) All-Ireland Ireland in 2022.”
Lynsey missed Galway’s 2019 All-Ireland final appearance as she was in America on a J1 visa so is still chasing her Croke Park dream.
Reaching this season’s Division One final was encouraging but Galway lost to Kerry and also lost the Connacht final to Mayo so need to regroup ahead of their TG4 Championship opener on Jun 17 in a group that includes Cork and Tipperary.
“We were excited to get to the league final against Kerry. We were a bit deflated after that, trained hard for three weeks and then the same thing happened in the Connacht final. You just have days like that sometimes but we’ve learnt from it.
“In a way it doesn’t matter who’s in your group because, if you want to win an All-Ireland, you have to beat all the best teams at some stage. There’s genuinely four or five teams there now that could win the All-Ireland but that’s a good thing. It makes the competition much better for everyone.”