Katie Mullan and her Ireland hockey team-mates should be preparing for an Olympic Games this summer, but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed those plans and has seen her adopt a crucial role in the fight against an unseen enemy. 

The Ireland captain is involved in the manufacturing of PPE equipment, as she explained on Friday's edition of Game On on RTÉ 2fm. 

"I'm a medical visualisation engineer," Mullan told listeners. 

"Normally, we 3D print anatomical models to help surgeons complete their surgeries, but the last couple of months have been slightly different, with the need for PPE and other things, such as parts for ventilators. 

"We've switched our skill sets over to 3D printing - anything and everything that we need in hospitals and that they need to help with Covid-19. 

"It's been challenging and a steep learning curve." 

The 26-year-old's new normal has seen a major shift in her schedule, with hockey taking a rare backseat in her life. 

"For me, it's been very different, because normally I would have been working one or two days with the engineering and the rest of the time I would have been training for what we thought was going to be Tokyo 2020," she said. 

"Now I'm working 8-6, five days a week. I've done more work in the last couple of weeks than in the last number of years!"

"We're just itching to get back on the pitch" 

That work has taken place remotely, but so too has the training programme geared at maintaining the team's fitness.

"We've been training every day by ourselves," Mullan, a 2010 All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie champion with Coleraine's Eoghan Rua, said.

"I learned very quickly that I couldn't be an individual sport athlete. I'll stick to the team sports because it's been very difficult going out and doing all those running sessions and gym sessions that we've been prescribed by ourselves. 

"We're just itching to get back on the pitch." 

The postponement of the Olympic Games may have been a bitter pill to swallow, but Mullan has lofty goals for the game in this country. 

"The thing about our team and the thing about hockey now in Ireland, is that it's not just about going to the Olympic Games. 

"It's about the fact that we are eighth in the world and we want to push on and get into the top five in the world.

"That's not just about the Olympic Games or one tournament. That's about how our sport moves forward and keeps growing, and the talent keeps growing. It's a bigger picture thing."