Sinead Farrelly is a 23 year old Havertown, Pennsylvania native, who attended the University of Virginia. This year the midfielder will be playing for FC Kansas City.
Farrelly was a member of the U15, U17, U20, and U23 Women’s National teams, and while attending the University of Virginia, she was a finalist for the 2009 Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top male and female college soccer players.
Sinead made her professional debut with the Philadelphia Independence (#2 overall pick in the 2011 WPS Draft) and started 13 of the 14 games in her rookie season and tallied one goal and two assists.
I recently got the opportunity to interview and learn more about Sinead and her thoughts on the NWSL and the upcoming season.
You played in WPS before it folded. What do you think will make the NWSL different from WPS?
At this point, I’m not really sure. I’m glad there are more teams, including a wider range of areas, but I’m not really sure how the NWSL will play out. I have high hopes and I think having the US Soccer Federation support the league this time will definitely help, but I also am realistic about women’s soccer in this country. However, I’m also filled with immense excitement about the NWSL. I truly believe this league, when done correctly, can really last. And I think having previous leagues that have failed in the past it a good opportunity to learn from our mistakes. As a woman soccer player, we all enter into risky, unstable situations but it’s always, always a risk we are willing to take. I think the stakes on this league really sticking are huge, for this generation, but more importantly for the upcoming generations. And I think everyone involved in this process definitely understands that and that’s the biggest thing that will help this league really take off.
You will be playing for FC Kansas City. What are you looking forward to the most?
It’s hard to pick out one thing because I really am looking forward to so many things! I’m very into traveling and seeing new places, so I’m really excited to live in a city I’ve never been before and to experience all the people, places and events that come along with it. I obviously can’t wait to be playing soccer every day and getting great training sessions and getting back into game situations. But I think most importantly I’m excited to just be on a team again. There’s always a special bond between teammates and I’m just excited to be together with everyone, pushing every day for the same goal of winning a championship.
What was one of your most memorable games?
I think one of my most memorable games was in college in the NCCAs when we were playing Penn State. After the first half, we were down 2-0 and we seemed to have lost control of the game. I know that people in the stands or watching on game tracker had assumed this would be our last game of the season, but our team never gave up. We ended up scoring 6 goals in 20 minutes in the second half to win the game 6-2. It was honestly one of the most crazy, insane twenty minutes of my life and our team was just on cloud nine. I’m actually laughing out loud right now thinking about how all of our fans were like “what the heck is going on?” It was such a great feeling to win that game and qualify to the next round of the NCCAs, but it was more important to me that our team never gave up. And I’ll never forget how with a little bit of hope, our team completely turned that game around. It’s definitely one I will never forget.
What has been one of your greatest accomplishments as an athlete?
I think as an athlete I’ve had many accomplishments, one not really outweighing the others. As a soccer player, I’ve gotten to travel all over the world and see so many places that without soccer, I would never would have been able to. I’m also so thankful I was given the opportunity to go to such an amazing college (University of Virginia) and to play in the top conference in the country. After college, I was lucky enough to be drafted to Philadelphia Independence where I got to play professional soccer in my hometown, in front of all of my friends and family. And now, I get another opportunity to play as a professional soccer player against some of the best players in the world. I’m just so grateful for every opportunity and accomplishment I’ve had and made and am looking forward to what the future holds.
How do you feel about young athletes playing multiple sports?
I am hockey 100% all the way. Some girls play multiple sports and it hurts each team because they have to make decisions at crucial times, for example Districts and Nationals. Plus, they are at a higher risk for injuries when they play multiple sports.
I think when you’re young, you should experience every type of activity and sport that you can. That being said, there comes a time when you must narrow it down or choose one that you truly want to pursue. I was very competitive in both soccer and softball until about age 14 where I chose soccer as my main sport. I think it’s almost impossible to balance school, social life, and multiple sports at a teen age. It also depends on how serious you are about the sport. If you really want to dedicate your time and life to a sport, it’s important to do whatever is necessary to do so. And that may include having to sacrifice other things and sports that you may like. I don’t think you need to give up those other sports entirely, but you will need one that outweighs the other. This decision may come at different times in one’s life, depending on your situation, so it’s hard to speak for someone else. I think overall, it’s just important to be truthful to yourself and make sure you’re having fun with what you do. The second you’re not happy or you’re pushing yourself to injury or forcing yourself to play something for the benefit of someone else, you need to really sit down and evaluate what you really want.
What advice would you give a young girl aspiring to play professional soccer?
I’d probably just say to always believe in yourself. And that’s not just with soccer, that’s with your life. The second you start to lose confidence in yourself, that’s when you let things and people effect you that never should. If you love this sport, and you believe in yourself, there’s no saying what you’ll be capable of doing. You can be great.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I pretty much like to do everything. I’m very creative and like to do arts and crafts, scrapbooking, drawing and anything of that sort. I also love going out dancing and meeting new people. But I could also spend an entire day on the couch watching an entire TV series or having a movie marathon. I also love bike riding, hiking and doing things like apple picking, or taking my sister’s dog out, or having picnics. I’m pretty much up for anything and love hanging out with people who are as well!
What other sport would you like to try if you weren’t playing soccer?
My fifth year in college, I took a swimming class and absolutely loved it. I was in amazing shape and I always felt so good after our workouts. I only swam for a semester, but I fell in love with it and I still try to swim whenever I have the chance.
Thank you to Sinead for taking the time to do this interview with us, and good luck to you and FC Kansas City on the upcoming NWSL Season. You can follow Sinead on Twitter @shin_ebrighter.