Ciara Mahon is an athlete who needs no introduction, having competed at the highest level in both big and small alleys, and one wall, over the last number of years.
With such experience behind her, GAA Handball asked how she prepares for such a high-level game. Mahon noted that though taking on Casey is a formidable task, she is looking forward to the challenge. In terms of approach, the Kilkenny native will prepare for this game as she would do any other, and her focus will be on giving her best effort and playing her own game rather than her opponent’s.
When discussing the fact that she is playing the number one ranked player in the country in Catriona Casey, it is difficult not to mention just what an athlete and a player the Ballydesmond star has become. Keeping a cool head and a focused eye, Mahon stated that, yes, Catriona is a fantastic athlete and her achievements to date are outstanding. However, with quite confidence she continued by saying that
“I am quite the underdog, which I think works to my advantage coming into this game as I have nothing to lose”.
Mahon’s main focus will be to keep her own work rate high by chasing every ball and taking every opportunity that she can in the game.
At the elite level, the cream rises to the top and players often find themselves battling the same titans’ year in and year out, a pattern that one must use to their advantage and take as a learning experience. On playing Casey, Mahon noted that, every game provides additional experience, highlights areas to improve and enables her to learn and better herself as a player. She hopes that this cumulative experience will enable her a to give a strong performance in this upcoming encounter.
Changing the topic to the big question; The World Championships. GAA Handball asked Mahon if this is something that hangs on her head in this year’s Championship. Mahon answered simply; No. As a player she tends to focus on one thing at a time and thus her focus will be directed solely at the game ahead of her.
On the other side of the draw tree, the two power-houses of Aisling Reilly and Martina Mc Mahon will meet. When asked her opinion on what is sure to be an epic encounter, the Clough Club woman stated that both individuals are extremely talented players.
She thinks that this will be a tightly contested game and one that she is looking forward to watching. Moving to Ladies Handball in general, Mahon stated that
“I think it is fantastic that there is such a high standard in Ladies Handball and I am particularly impressed by the wealth of talent in the girls that are coming up through the ranks from juvenile level. It makes the game far more exciting and will help grow the sport.”
In closing what was a very insightful interview, GAA Handball asked Mahon if there was any advice that she would give to any young female Handball players who will read this article. Her response was potent in its simplicity;
“Two words; Perseverance and Effort.”
She would also advise young female athletes to give their best effort and to stick at it, keep training and trying even when things are not working out exactly as you like them – things do to tend to come together in the end.
The date and time of the Ladies Senior Singles Semi Finals is yet to be confirmed by GAA Handball, but will be posted here when it is confirmed.