‘Every player is hungry for another Cup win’

It’s hard to believe that we are just days away from our second National Cup final in two years.

It’s hard to believe that we are just days away from our second National Cup final in two years.

We started in the league just three years ago and the strides that have been made since then have been unbelievable. Being part of my home town team is what has made this journey extra special for me.

Having played in Dublin for many years, returning home at the end of my basketball career and getting to play with my family and friends has been the icing on the cake. I cannot explain the feeling of captaining my team to National Cup victory last year.

The emotion after the game was palpable from coaches, players and supporters alike. I have been playing this sport that I adore for over 20 years now and the pride I felt after the buzzer in January last year was the pinnacle of my career.

The opportunity to get back to a cup final and experience the highs of the occasion again is more than I could ever have wished for, but it’s an opportunity that I have known this group of special players are very capable of achieving for a while now.

If hard work, dedication determination and a love of the game are the ingredients for success in the cup and league competitions, our team have every chance of doing the double.

I have watched my fellow teammates grow and develop as players for many years now and they are the best group of girls you could ask to be involved with. After last year’s success an infusion of extra energy was needed for the 2014/2015 season and this came in a number of ways following the diligent work of head coach Peter O’Sullivan.

The introduction of a very energetic, enthusiastic and knowledgable assistant coach in the form of Peter Duignan, new players entering the fold and the addition of an American Division 1 player have given us an extra edge this season.

Every player and our coaches are hungry for another cup win. Some of us know that these special days won’t happen forever and the drive that we have as a team will hopefully allow us to put in a performance that we can all be proud of against Oblate Dynamo in the National Basketball Arena.

We were in awe at the number of supporters who attended last year’s final and hope that they can make the trip again this year to help us bring National Cup Final number two, home to Portlaoise. It will be an immense occasion for all of us Panthers girls, one that we truly relish, one that we are determined to grasp with both hands and one that has the capability of making dreams come true.