THERE were surely times when Kate Keaney was wondering if the effort was worth it.
Keaney has endured a hellish time over the last injury-ravaged couple of years.
There was the concussion in 2015 and the cruciate ligament tear in 2017. Keaney’s long road seemed never ending.
Picture: Kate Keaney lifts the Ulster SFC title with Geraldine McLaughlin in 2017.
The Donegal Town woman made it back in time to play in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final against Cork and last weekend she was in the Donegal side that overcame Tyrone in the Ulster Ladies SFC quarter-final.
“It’s felt like a while,” Keaney told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“I’ve had a good few injuries. I’m delighted to be back playing and delighted that we got over the line against Tyrone.
“It was fast, but it felt good. Tyrone are a strong running team and we knew they’d come at us. We have a lot to work on for Cavan.
‘I felt good. There’s a lot of change in the team and those young girls have brought a great freshness. They’ll learn a huge amount from that game.”
Keaney is now based in Belfast and is commuting for training and games
Her road to recovery has made her value her appearances more.
She said: “I got back for the Cork game last year and we were gone then. It’s been a long old road, but any day you line out for Donegal, it’s special.
“I went through a bit of a tough time, but I’m just glad to be back in again.
“I had so many injuries and I was chasing it a bit last year. I missed the League and then everyone was going so well in the Championship. I worked my way back for the Cork game. It was tough. I wanted to play on the big days because that’s what you train for. You just want to be out there, playing.”
Donegal, the defending Ulster champions, face Cavan in Killyclogher in Saturday evening’s semi-final.
Keaney said: “Any of these teams will fancy their chances so we’ll need to recover well.”