Ballymoney Hockey Club’s Sammy-Jo Greer has a wealth of talent and is known for her inspirational approach, her dedication and ability to motivate others.
Having won representative honours at both provincial and international level, Sammy-Jo is an asset to any team, however, she has decided to spread her wings and make the move from her home club having signed for top Ulster hockey side Pegasus at the weekend.
Pegasus, one of the most successful club’s in Ulster and Irish hockey, play in the IHL (Irish Hockey League), allowing Sammy-Jo the opportunity to test herself at the highest level on a weekely basis.
The move comes as a double edged sword for Ballymoney Club President Liz Lamont who also happens to be Sammy-Jo’s Mum.
“As her Mum I am absolutely delighted for Sammy-Jo as it’s a massive move for her,” said Liz who also wears the hat of the Vice-President of the Ulster Women’s Hockey Union.
“She had taken a year out from hockey because she had a new job and wanted some time to herself. She had been playing for Ulster and Ireland and found she had very little time to herself. It got to a stage when she felt that enough was enough, she had been playing for the past 10 years and she decided that it was her time.
“She was unsure what to do this year when she got a call from Pegasus and after a great deal of thought and soul searching she decided to sign for them.”
Sammy-Jo’s move has Liz in a bit of a quandary. “It’s been hard for me differentiating between my mother hat and my manager’s hat,” added Liz. “On a personal level I am absolutely ecstatic that she has decided to come back to hockey. She has so much talent and the beauty of its is that she doesn’t realise it. It was too much talent to give it up and not play any more so I am delighted she has come back to hockey and the fact she is not playing top flight hockey.
“The fact she isn’t playing against Ballymoney is also tough. She has come up through the ranks, from the Juniors to playing for the main club when she was 11 years of age. Apart from a couple of years out when she was at Leeds at university, she has always played for Ballymoney and has been loyal member of the club.
“As a sportsperson you always want to play at the highest level you can so although its great to see so many youngsters come through the club, it can also be great to see them leave and move on, even if it is tinged with sadness. We have always wanted the best for any of our players and if that means them playing for other clubs to develop their talents further then as a club Ballymoney has always supported them.
“Yes, it is gutting that she isn’t playing for Ballymoney but it’s great to see her playing at the top level and not giving up the game completely.
“Thankfully Ballymoney and Pegasus arent in the same league so I won’t have a conflict of interest watching them play each other, however, you never know what a cup draw could throw up, now that could be interesting!”