By Damian Dolan
Fiona Morrissey says they’ll no divided loyalties when she lines up against her native county Limerick in Mallow on Sunday in the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship.
From the Granagh/Ballingarry club in Limerick, Morrissey won 12 All-Irelands for the Treaty, but none in Croke Park and none for football, before moving to London in 2012.
Green and white are clearly her colours.
She made her London Ladies debut the same year and has been a permanent part of the set-up since 2014, and the Tir Chonaill Gaels forward has set her sights on ending that sequence.
“They’re in my way of where I want to be, and that’s winning an All-Ireland with London. I’m not thinking that’s my home team,” Morrissey told the Irish World.
“We need to do a job.
“If they beat us, then I’ll be on the Limerick bandwagon for them to win the All-Ireland, but I’ve been playing with London for the last six years. My county is London.
“We’ve gone through too many bad days to worry about who the opposition are. The opposition is the opposition, and we have to beat them.”
Those “bad days” include last year’s painful semi-final exit at the hands of Fermanagh.
In Dublin last Sunday to cheer on Limerick’s hurlers in the All-Ireland final, she’ll switch her allegiances back to London for this weekend.
There’s been a bit of banter with friends and family, and the “slagging” has started already, but Morrissey has vowed to “rise above it”.
London head to Mallow looking to end their semi-final hoodoo, having also lost to Antrim in 2016, and they’ll also be aware of the ten-year anniversary of the Exiles’ junior final win over Derry.
But for Morrissey, that’s in “the past” and not something this crop of London players can “dwell on”.
She said: “They had their day and that was a great year for them, but we’re thinking about the present.
Morrissey is also acutely aware of the need to make the most of this opportunity, given London’s revolving door.
“We’ve a good team but we know this team may not be here next year. The turnover is massive, so we know we need to strike while the iron is hot,” said Morrissey, who isn’t the only Limerick connection in the London set-up. Manager Paddy Bowles is from Oola.
Limerick reached the National League Division 4 semi-finals, only to lose out to Louth – conquerors of London at McGovern Park. They were then put to the sword by Clare in the Munster intermediate final.
They booked their semi-final place with a thumping win over Carlow to top their group – a result which will certainly have got the attention of Louth, Derry and London.
“They’re a young and fit side. They had a decent league campaign and they’re a team we’ve definitely been looking out for during the championship,” said Morrissey.
“They put up a big score against Carlow so you can’t overlook them at all.
“They’ve obviously stepped up their tempo in the last couple of weeks. A couple of players have come back into the scene, which has injected a lot of new energy into the camp.
“They will probably be favourites on Sunday, but we won’t be concentrating on that. We’re focusing on ourselves.
“If we all perform to our full potential there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be in an All-Ireland final. We all believe in each other.
“We want to keep our journey going.”