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Neamh fired up to achieve major twin sporting goal in 2019

 

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Leading lady: Neamh Woods with her GAA Writers’ trophy

Leading lady: Neamh Woods with her GAA Writers’ trophy

Leading lady: Neamh Woods with her GAA Writers’ trophy

Tyrone ladies football captain Neamh Woods, whose outstanding performance in the team's All-Ireland Intermediate final victory over Meath has just won her the Ulster GAA Writers' monthly merit award, is now strongly focused on fulfilling a twin sporting aim in 2019.

The 29-year old Carrickmore dynamo is not only hoping Tyrone can make an impact in Division Two of the National League and impress in the All-Ireland Senior Championship, but is also keen to see Northern Ireland enjoy success at the World Netball Championships in Liverpool.

Woods, equally at home in each of her two chosen sports, believes that an encouraging league campaign could prove the ideal launch pad for Tyrone's participation in next year's All-Ireland Senior Championship.

And, in much the same way, she is anxious to see Northern Ireland hit the ground running on the world stage.

"I see the league as a very important stepping stone in the build-up towards the championship," says Woods.

"We will be meeting teams like Cavan and Armagh, among others, who will undoubtedly test us, so we have to be on our toes.

"Then in the championship we will be up against sides like Donegal and Monaghan who are well used to the senior arena."

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Tyrone's All-Ireland success is already being viewed as a springboard for the greater development of ladies football within the county, with Woods among those who believe that longer-term benefits can be gained.

"I think that winning an All-Ireland title helps to provide an incentive for younger players to be the best they can be, and in this respect I feel that Tyrone can take great strides into the future," insists Woods.

"The ladies' game has come on in leaps and bounds and I would like to see Tyrone showing the way in further promoting the sport."

Since the current Tyrone side is an amalgam of youth and experience, Woods is understandably optimistic that this fusion of talent can now perhaps take the O'Neill county to even greater things.

"The defeat that we suffered to Tipperary in last year's All-Ireland final hit home hard and we vowed that if we got back to Croke Park we would make amends for that," explains Woods.

"But now we have to take things on from there. We can't simply rest on our laurels because other teams are making big efforts to achieve success.

"Thankfully there is a great bond within the squad and I know that the girls are already focusing on 2019."

And her desire to see Northern Ireland net a slice of glory is palpable when she says: "Obviously when you're facing the best in the world you have to be on top of your game but Northern Ireland are capable of rising to the challenge."

Woods received her merit award at a presentation ceremony in Quinn's Corner, Ballygawley from Quinn Building Supplies Sales and Marketing Director Seamus McMahon.

The award took the form of a specially engraved Belleek Living vase, hand-crafted jewellery from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O'Neill's International Sportswear and two complimentary tickets to the Ulster GAA Writers' Association annual presentation function.


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