2018 was a topsy-turvy year for Lorna Fusciardi on the field. Under the helm of Mick O’Rourke, the 30-year-old enjoyed tremendous success for Wicklow; gaining promotion from Division 4 of the Lidl National Football League with a 100% record, as well as a Leinster final and All-Ireland quarter-final.
However, for club side Foxrock-Cabinteely, she tasted defeat in the All-Ireland club championship final when, alongside fellow Wicklow stalwart Laurie Ahern, she lost out to Mourneabbey.
“It just wasn’t our day, we just didn’t perform. We did everything right all year and then we lost the most important match but hopefully this year we can get it right,” she told GAA.ie.
“But, along with Laurie, it’s great having that experience on the Wicklow side of things.
“I have been playing with Wicklow for probably 12 or 13 years, and the leadership and playing with such a senior club in Dublin helps.
“It helps drive the girls on to see the motivation I would have as well.”
Fusciardi has been a fixture of the Wicklow senior set-up since the age of 16. Over the course of her tenure for the Garden, she met Darren Hayden, whom she would eventually marry before giving birth to daughter Harley in August 2017.
While she admits that balancing her role as a mother, work, and her on-field duties can be tough, she insists that, with the right support newtork in place, it can be done.
“It is definitely difficult but we have a great support system,” she said.
“There is so much love for the game. All of my friends, my great friends who I have known all my life, definitely help. Once you have a support system behind you, you can do all three, working, being a mom, playing football.
“Once it’s a hobby, it’s not something you should give up because you have a baby. It’s tough but it’s good for both of us playing football while having our child.
“We would have our own work to do in the gym, whether it’s gym or runs we would have to do that twice a week. It’s hard to juggle it all because it’s tough.
“But I am not one to sit around. I can’t sit still for two seconds. I definitely enjoy it.
“It’s just good for your mental health as well getting out of the house. I enjoy sport so much too so it’s not a chore, I enjoy doing it.”