The Lead Story: Hat-trick hero Hanly sends Ireland through


I have to say, my love for the beautiful game has waned slightly over the past few months due to ridiculous transfer fees and pampered professionals. I was growing weary of dabbing and diving and listening to José and Antonio’s playground squabbles. All seemed hopelessly lost until a text message out of the blue last Sunday.

  It was short and to the point but it brought news of futsal heroics from the Netherlands involving 13-year-old Aisling Hanly from Kilteevan.

  This column recently highlighted Aisling’s inclusion in the Ireland Deaf Women’s Futsal team for the European Championship Qualifying event in Holland last weekend.

 Well, the young CP Ajax player played an instrumental role in guiding Ireland to the European Championships, which will take place in Finland in December as she grabbed a hat-trick against Italy in the final match.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People earlier this week, Aisling’s mother Liz was understandably thrilled.

  “We are very proud. Aisling is only 13 years of age and we couldn’t have written a better script for her.

  “I got an email on Monday from the FAI which said that Aisling was the youngest player to ever score at that tournament,” said Liz.

  It’s a remarkable achievement for the young Convent of Mercy student as most of her teammates are aged in their 20s. Aisling is a gifted young sportswoman, however, and represents Roscommon at football at U-14 level.

  “Our attitude is enjoy while it lasts. We thought she was a bit young for the trials (for Ireland) but they kept telling us to bring her along. It’s a huge commitment getting up and down to Dublin but it has been a life-changing experience,” said Liz.

  Aisling wasn’t resting on her laurels this week and was back in action last night at Gaelic football training. Ireland’s young hat-trick hero can look forward to a trip to Finland on December 3rd as Ireland’s Deaf Women’s Futsal team does battle with the best Europe has to offer.