Dayna, last year is firmly in the rear-view mirror now, but having had time to reflect at this point, do you view it any differently than in the immediate aftermath?

Last season of course like any had its ups and downs, winnings and lessons that we will take with us into the new season. For me it was all new, a new team, new city (Dublin), a new coach and a new adventure. I am excited for this year. As you mentioned we have Claire Melia and lots of other Irish girls joining the team this year which is exciting.

The big news this off-season involves your team. Claire Melia moves over from The Address UCC Glanmire. Are you looking forward to playing alongside her on the court domestically? What’s the biggest attribute she will bring to the team?

I’ve played with Claire since the year 2016 on the U16 Irish team through to Senior level and she’s one of my favourite, if not my favourite. I was thrilled when she decided to join Trinity Meteors. Her presence is just immense on the floor and I’m excited to see what we can do this year.

Niall Berry has come into Trinity Meteors as head coach. Do you believe his coaching style will mesh well with your own play?

I do believe we can build something special. Niall has been great to date, but at the end of the day its the unity as a team we need to instill as a team to be successful.

Lets talk ambitions – what is a good season for Trinity Meteors this year? And on a personal level, what would you like to achieve?

This season was tougher than others in managing both Gaa and basketball, due to being in Dublin. I completed my undergraduate degree in Galway which made it easier to commute to train in Mayo with the Mayo Ladies the nights I didn’t have basketball. Being in Dublin makes that difficult and the Super League season is very intense on top of my masters.

You obviously have combined your sporting talents between GAA and Basketball throughout your career. Talk to us a little about how time consuming that is? Are there benefits to continuing with both?

I couldn’t commit fully to Mayo this year as I had International commitments during the summer months and I took a few weeks for some rest for the first time in my career to date. In saying this, I miss it hugely and hopefully will be able to join back this year. I'm currently playing with my gaa team (Kiltimagh) at home in the Intermediate Championship.

The addition of NUIG Mystics and Ulster University to the Super League for the upcoming season means the level of competition has gone up another gear once more. Just how competitive is this league now?

The Super League is continuing to become more competitive and you really can’t take any team for granted, which is great. The standard and competitiveness in teams is making it a better league every year. You mention NUIG Mystics coming up to the league. They were tremendous last year and it will be great to see them compete in the Super League. First game of the season for us is versus NUIG Mystics and I’ll be playing against my sister Hazel for the first time ever! So this will be fun.

It’s boosted by the fact a lot of young Irish talent are returning (or staying) to play on home soil. Five new teams are also joining the Division One in 2022/23. There’s a lot of positives for women’s basketball in Ireland at the moment?

In general, the standard of Women’s basketball is continuing to improve and we are getting more and more recognition which is great to see. The only way is up.

The latest international window has just closed following two hard fought games against Portugal. Obviously, the November window where you face the Dutch in FIBA EuroBasket 2023 qualifying will come up very quickly, how do you think the team is shaping up with that in mind?

We played preparation games against Estonia and Portugal this August. These games were huge tests for us and have been great for us in preparation for the qualifier game V Netherlands in November. The more we play the more unified we are becoming. The lessons we are taking from every training and preparation game is vital to our progression. We’re really looking forward to November and hopefully we will give a good team performance to get us over the line.

Eight new caps in the Estonia and Portugal series - what impressed you most about the new faces?

The debut girls did fantastic. It’s always daunting when you first play at Senior level but they bought into the team culture and goals very quickly.

Who from that eight would you like to recruit to come play alongside you at Trinity Meteors this year?

I would recruit every one of them if I could haha, but that’s what makes the league exciting. We all get to go head to head throughout the season, which only makes us better players especially when it comes to the international stage.

Original news article published on Basketball Ireland website.