McEvoy enjoying Melbourne
- Mar 19,2021
Niamh McEvoy relishing life in Melbourne ...
Dublin and Melbourne AFLW star Niamh McEvoy chats to Hazel Nolan of FM 104
"It took us a while to readjust, we'd be walking down by the beach and seeing all the pubs and beer gardens hopping."
From Level 5 lockdown in Malahide, to a life where the only trace of the pandemic is having to wear a facemask when going grocery shopping.
10,699 miles away from the restrictions which see Ireland celebrating a second St. Patrick's Day at home, and certainly no further than 5km from our front doors.
For Dublin full forward, Niamh McEvoy, life in Australia with Melbourne Demons in the AFLW is very different to the one she left behind in Dublin in January.
"We're loving it, in the sense of certain freedoms that we didn't have for the previous six months in Ireland, it's a big difference," she explained, as the sun beamed into her room during our zoom call this week, (no reader, I was not jealous, much).
"We're not taking for granted that we're over here in nice sunny Melbourne, and everything's opened up, and we rarely have to wear masks unless you're going to the supermarket.
"Even when I ring people at home on FaceTime I forget, like Dean (Rock) or my Mam, they're just walking down the street with their masks on having a chat, and I think 'Oh My God, we're so lucky to be over here', so we're just trying to make the most of it."
McEvoy, who won a fourth All-Ireland title in a row with Dublin in December, her fifth in her career, is sharing a house in Melbourne with fellow Dubs, Sinéad Goldrick, and AFL rookie Lauren Magee.
Not long after enduring their two week quarantine on arrival into Australia, they posted an Insta story of being at an outdoor movie screening. "Yeah a mass gathering! I remember that!" McEvoy recalls. "It was early when we got here and we thought it was incredible.
"The first day we arrived in Melbourne, after our two week quarantine, we went straight down to the beach in St Kilda, and there were so many people!"We were a bit paranoid and trying to keep our social distance, but there's none of that because restrictions aren't here anymore. "It took us a while to readjust, so that was just a taste of what it's going to be like when the whole of Ireland can go back to normal."
Chatting to McEvoy you get a real sense of a society that has come out the other side of harsh Covid restrictions."General life in Melbourne is ticking away," she mused. "We're living in a really nice part of Melbourne, in Port Melbourne, and we'd be walking down by the beach and seeing all the pubs and beer gardens hopping. "If only we weren't over here playing professional sport, it's ruining our holiday," she joked, (yes reader, the jealousy is starting to kick in now.)
For McEvoy a chance to return to Melbourne Demons, after their season was cut short last year was too good to turn down. She talks about how privileged a position she's in, but also hints that it's not a road she'll look to travel again, once this season finishes.
"I was really disappointed with how the season ended last year, having to come home because of Covid and everything like that."I'm not sure if I'd be in a position to leave all my family and friends again next year.
"It's hard in the sense of being away from my family, away from my partner Dean and we suffered a family bereavement just as we got here, and that was really tough."I'm just really lucky to have the two girls with me. I'd be really good friends with both of the girls here.
"I came up through the ranks in Dublin with Sinéad Goldrick, and we've been friends for more than half of my life. The two girls are really, really good to me."There's such a strong bond with Dublin, so Lauren's a great pal of mine as well."
With Melbourne Demons battling for a coveted top six spot in the ladder, McEvoy is enjoying her time both on and off the field of play."We're over here, going to the beach on the sunnier days, eating in cafes and stuff.
"We look at home and people are locked down, and just trying to do their best to keep their mental and physical wellbeing as well as they can in the given circumstances. "We know we're very privileged. Of course I miss my people at home, I am a home bird. "I'm here just to do the best that I can, and give the best account of myself I can and enjoy the experience."
As for whether or not we'll see McEvoy back in the blue of Dublin this year, she has every intention of being ready for the call.
"The plan for now, is if I am accepted back into the fold, I would love to play one more season with Dublin. "We'll just have to wait and see."