“No one has heard of us,” said Aoibheann Millar, vice president of ladies Gaelic football, but that didn’t stop them winning the British championship.
Gaelic football is a niche sport at Stirling, boasting roughly twenty members. That can often make things difficult for a sport that requires 15 players to a team.
Winning their Divison 3 championship was therefore more of an aspiration than a goal for the club, but that changed this year as Stirling returned home with the trophy.
No one expected to win though. Most members of the team have incredible commitments already, and so Gaelic football often takes a back seat. Training times aren’t ideal either, explains Millar, taking place outdoors, late on Wednesday and Friday nights.
Getting the whole team together to train was therefore difficult, but as the British University Gaelic Association Championships approached, they all doubled down.
Nervous excitement loomed on the day as five matches stood between Stirling and the trophy. The team immediately displayed its prowess, and only conceded a single goal the entire day.
A game against Heriot-Watt was especially intense, recalls Millar, as every goal required a phenomenal play. The final match against Birmingham was the most important though, and Stirling eventually came out victorious, two goals to nil.
Millar said: “Every moment was a blur to be honest. I don’t think any of the girls could believe we’d won for a while.”
The excitement will hopefully extend to next season, as Millar wants to see more engagement with the club from current and new players, and they’ll hopefully become more involved with the Sports Union.
Growth is the main goal, Millar explained, as she’d love to see more people take part in Gaelic football: “it is just such a fun sport.”
Regardless, Millar was bursting with pride at the team’s championship win and effort that allowed it. If her enthusiasm for Stirling Gaelic football is reflected in the club at all, then they are sure to have an incredible future.
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