Mags Darcy reminiscing on her Ashbourne memories of playing for UCD

Looking back on her time as a young, fast, strong college student, Mags Darcy pens an open letter to the Ashbourne Class of 2016.

Mags Darcy

The Ashbourne class of ’16

Wear Studs Not Blades

If I could offer you only one tip for Ashbourne, Studs would be it
The long-term benefits of Studded Boots has been proven by teams that don’t win
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy your strength of arm and speed of limb, oh, never mind
You will not understand the strength and speed of your youthful plays
Until only when it’s faded, but trust me, in 10 years, you’ll look back
At photos & videos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and your team
You are all stronger than you think, believe this

Don’t worry about the final whistle
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to mark Sarah-Anne Fitzgerald playing sweeper
The real trouble is trying to control the uncontrollable
Be kind to the referee. The empires. Make them your friends.
Do one thing in the match that scares you

Saying that, don’t be reckless with the sliothar
Don’t put up with teammates who are reckless with the silothar

Stretch

Don’t waste your time on the opposition
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with your own teammates
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Foam Roll

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life after Ashbourne.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do after Ashbourne.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Take plenty of magnesium and be kind to your joints
You’ll miss them when they’re no longer functional

Maybe you’ll win, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll end up in Halo Nightclub, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll retire at 23, maybe you’ll dance “The Galway shawl”
Whatever you do, express yourself
Your choices are half crazy, so are your teammates

Use your body, use it every way you can
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Listen to your manager even if you don’t follow what they are saying
Get to know your manager, you never know when they’ll move on to coach a men’s team
Be nice to the linesman or woman, they’re your best link to keeping possession
And the people most likely to stick with you into extra time

Understand some teammates will come and go
But a precious few, will do Medicine for seven years

Work hard to bridge the gap with girls from Dublin
For as the older you get, the more you will need them for a bed after Copper Face Jacks
Go to Supermac’s once but leave before you’re asked too
Jump the Salthill diving board once but leave before you drown

The Truth

Accept certain inalienable truths
Ashbourne will happen again next year, you too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize when you nearly dispossessed one of the Mackey sisters
And freshers respect your seniors

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, and a perspective of that person’s view of the game
Be brave and endorse your integrity on the field of play

But trust me on the studded boots

 

 

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