The 4 Nations In Cardiff, Wales

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From the time I got the email from Tennis Ireland asking me if I would be free on 9-12th September, I was determined to do well in the semis of Fitz the next day! That whole week I was hoping that I would be chosen so much. I was so glad when I did get selected!

I found out that I had been chosen when Laura Reid’s dad sent a text to my mum saying that Laura was looking forward to travelling with me. I was so happy to be going with Laura too. We were still in Monkstown at the time so Stephen checked our email with us and we had received the email saying that I had been chosen. I was going to Cardiff!!! And Stephen was going to be the coach for the U12s – that made it even better!! I was really proud to be representing Ireland!

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The team was Laura Reid, Morgan Lohan, Sam O’Kelly in the U12s. The U14s were Nicola Drummy, Rachel Daly, David Gardiner, Eoin McGovern, the U18s were Alan Gleeson, Fergus O’Connell, Sinead Lohan and Grainne O’Neill. And finally, the seniors were Ciaran Fitzgerald, Jamie Blake, Lynsey McCullough and Niamh Coveney.

The morning we flew was an early one, we had to be in the airport at 5.20am! As we were queuing up at the gates Sam realized that he had left is passport in his bag that had just been put in the hold! It was quite funny at the beginning because Sam had been going on about how he didn’t have a bag to bring on the plane.

When we arrived in the airport, we got a minibus to the Indoor Tennis Centre. We warmed up and when we had finished we got dropped to the hotel. We were staying in a place called Future Inns. It was opposite Pizza Hut (we went there every night because the food wasn’t too good in the hotel) and there was also a shopping centre.

On the first day we went to play doubles against England. I was playing on the outside American clay court with Laura. Every day we were assigned different courts on the clay. We played one country each day. Wales the first day, Scotland the next and then we played England in singles on the last day.

On the last day there was a formal dinner held. The food was as good as it had been the last couple of nights! So when we had finished eating we asked could we go to Pizza Hut. In Pizza Hut they wouldn’t give us any take-away ice-creams so we went into the shopping centre and got Ben & Jerrys (which Sam spilt on our beds later!).

Each morning we go up at 7.30am except on the last day when Morgan and Sam knocked on our door and woke us up just after 7. They said that we had to be down for 7.15. Laura and I took it that everyone was downstairs so we hurried downstairs. I decided to wear my GOAL t-shirt, but when Sam came down the elevator he was wearing his too. And when Stephen walked into the restaurant he was wearing his too!! 

Even though we only won a few matches, it was a great experience and it was great fun too!!

Julie

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