Coen determined to beat the odds after another cruciate injury blow

Galway camogie player Siobhan Coen who is recovering from a second cruciate injury.
Galway camogie player Siobhan Coen who is recovering from a second cruciate injury.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

THERE was a train of thought in some quarters when Ballinderreen’s Siobhan Coen burst on the inter-county scene a number of years ago that she could well be Galway’s answer to centre-half back when the legendary Therese Maher hung up her boots. Unfortunately, it hasn’t transpired that way – as of yet – for the talented defender.

For in recent years, Coen has fallen victim to not one but two cruciate injuries. It would be enough to break anyone’s spirit but Coen is made of stern stuff and she is determined to bounce back from this latest setback – even if it has deprived her of the opportunity to line out with the Tribeswomen against Clare in their attractive double header with the senior hurlers at Pearse Stadium on Saturday (5pm).

All had been going well for Coen at the outset of 2018. She had lined out at wing-back alongside Rebecca Hennelly and Heather Cooney in their National League opener against Cork in January and resumed her defensive duties for the second-round fixture against Tipperary the following month – only for disaster to strike on 35 minutes.

With that second cruciate injury, the easiest thing would have been to walk away from it all at this stage but it was not in Coen. Already, she had undergone the operation to repair the damage and she is determined, more than ever, to return to the Galway jersey. How determined? “100%,” she remarks.

“I suppose, it is just one of the things. On a personal level, it (playing for Galway) is just one of those things you want to excel at and give it your best. You wouldn’t do it unless you loved it, which we do, by all means. So, having been on the wrong side of injuries, it makes you more determined to get back.”

To put into context how much Coen wants to wear the maroon and white, she even thought of building up the cartilage around the knee and playing on for the rest of the year. Why not? Others have done it, most notably in this county Corofin’s Ciaran McGrath who returned to line out for his club in the All-Ireland senior final last March.

“So, I had seriously considered it because the stability in my leg was really good,” she says. “And like that, it was just the cruciate that I had done – before it was the whole knee – but then I kind of said you would only be doing it for this championship.

“You could arrive at the first game and it might fail on you and then you would have only delayed the inevitable. So, I got the operation done and I am now hoping to be back in February or March of next year.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.