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Byrne ing desire

Thursday, 9th January, 2014 12:00am

“I found out just before Christmas, it was very exciting. To be honest I just looked at the list to see who else had made it out of interest; I never actually expected my own name to be on it so I couldn't believe it. It was a massive boost though, I never expected when I started out playing hockey that I would make it this far. It's not something I think about too much but still it's great to be involved.”

Yvonne learned her craft at Mount Mercy College, a famed hockey nursery on the Model Farm Road. She made the Senior A team when she was just 14 and was in second year in 2006 when the team went on to win the Munster senior schools cup and the Kate Russell All Ireland trophy. Yvonne then went on to captain the Mount Mercy Senior A team in 2010.“It's not something that is in my family at all, I just started it when I went to school - we have no history of hockey players or anything like that so I'm the first to do something like this. Hockey is a big thing in Mount Mercy so I just joined and played away; I never thought I'd progress like I did, but in school it was just more of a natural progression, I just kept plugging away at it.”

Yvonne is currently in her final year studying recreation and leisure in CIT, where she sat one of her final exams on Monday just hours before leaving for Spain.

“I'm all over the place at the minute. I didn't really have time to prepare for the Irish training because I didn't expect to be there at all. I had an exam this week and I also had a dissertation due, all before heading off to Spain so it's been completely hectic. Usually I'm much more prepared, at least now for my final exams in the summer I'll know what to expect, so I'll be more ready for them. I have the Irish Hockey League in April with my club Cork Harlequins, also, so the next few months will be fairly full-on for me!”

For CIT, Yvonne has been a bursary student since 2010. She has captained the ladies hockey team for the last two years at the intervarsities. Her club is Cork Harlequins, which she joined in 2008. The club made it to the IHL finals in 2010, the only Munster team to ever achieve this. Cork Harlequins won the Munster Division 1 League in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 and Yvonne was captain of the Division 1 ladies team in the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons.

“CIT wouldn't have the same numbers as somewhere like UCC so I also play with Harlequins and we're top of the league table at the moment. The standard would be very good at that level but international is a whole other scene. A lot of the other girls are from Dublin and their hockey would be at a totally different level but the experience from training with them is really good. I'm lucky as well in that there are two other Cork girls involved in the squad, Cliodhna Sargent and Audrey O'Flynn. "They both went to Mount Mercy as well and although Audrey is based in Dublin, Cliodhna is based in Cork which is great because we can do a lot of training together which is very helpful. Cliodhna has over 130 caps, she's a phenomenal player and I can learn a lot from her. It's not easy sometimes to motivate yourself to go out for a run or go to the gym that but with two of us here in Cork, it certainly helps. I'm looking forward to Spain as it is not somewhere I have played before. I've played in the Netherlands but never Spain so it will be a great experience. I'm proud of making it this far but it's definitely not something I dwell on, I'm just looking forward to what's ahead!”Yvonne is the latest winner of the Southside & District Sports Award for December sponsored by the Cork International Airport Hotel in association with awards sponsor Gerald McCarthy and media partners RedFM.  

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