Tokyo Bound | Nicci Daly
Nicci Daly is an Ireland women’s field hockey international. She was a member of the Ireland team that played in the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup final. In 2010 Daly was a member of the Loreto team that won the Irish Senior Cup. Daly has also played senior ladies’ Gaelic football for Dublin. Since 2016 Daly has worked in motorsport as a data engineer for Juncos Racing.
Daly made her debut for Ireland against Belgium in February 2010. In March 2015 Daly was a member of the Ireland team that won a 2014–15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Round 2 tournament hosted in Dublin, defeating Canada in the final after a penalty shoot-out.
On 10 June 2015 she scored an acclaimed solo goal against South Africa in the 2014–15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Semifinals. A report in The Irish Times declared “Daly picks up the ball 25 yards out, runs around defenders, pops the ball in the air and volleys it past the Springbok goalkeeper, all at full pace”. Daly was a member of the Ireland team that won the 2015 Women’s EuroHockey Championship II, defeating the Czech Republic 5–0 in the final. In January 2017 she was also a member of the Ireland team that won a 2016–17 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in Kuala Lumpur, defeating Malaysia 3–0 in the final.
Daly represented Ireland at the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup and was a prominent team member who won the silver medal. Throughout the tournament, she featured in all of Ireland’s games, including the pool games against the United States, India, and England, the quarter-final against India, the semi-final against Spain, and the final against the Netherlands.
In interviews, Daly has revealed how Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You became the team’s unofficial theme song. Daly explained that some of the team’s younger members had said that the excitement and anticipation they experienced during the tournament “felt like Christmas Eve.”
The team subsequently began singing the song during training sessions and again during their homecoming celebrations.