Ciara Grant and Catherine Cronin should be battling on the soccer pitch this weekend.

Instead, they're doing everything in their power to help the public through the life-changing Covid-19 pandemic, which has swept across the globe and shaken society to its core.

Grant and Cronin are both currently putting their shoulders to the wheel in the healthcare sector. 

DLR Waves captain Cronin is in the Radiology Department in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, but she's also been doing her bit to care for anyone struck down with the virus.

She had committed to another campaign with the Waves back in January and had been gearing up to help them improve on last year's sixth-placed finish.

Her priorities have dramatically changed in the last month

"There is a good pathway in St Vincent's with good support structures, from the porters to security and everyone else working there," said Cronin.

"It is definitely a different atmosphere with no visitors allowed, but everyone is doing what they can. 

"It is all still part of the job. But at the same time you are very aware that the virus is going around and you try to look after everyone in the same way.

"Some patients may be coming down to your unit having had no visitors for the last month, so you try to go the extra mile to be nice and to help them."

Shelbourne's Grant - capped 12 times for the Republic of Ireland and an Ulster SFC title winner with Donegal in 2018 - has gone through a similar experience since the outbreak of Covid-19.

She returned to her native county to help out at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Grant returned to the Women's National League at the start of the year when she joined Shels from Sion Swifts in the Northern Irish Women's Premier Division.

When the pandemic escalated, she was more than happy to volunteer in her home town.

"There are doctors, nurses, cleaners, lots of different people, all putting ourselves at higher risk of contamination by working in populated areas in the hospital, as well as those working in nursing homes and hospices," said Grant.

"These are very difficult situations with people self-isolated and people sacrificing a lot. I wanted to do what I could and even though I'm not on the Covid-19 ward, there is still a lot to do.

"Some people are almost afraid to come near the hospital if they have anything wrong with them but we are here to help.

"There is fantastic work being done by people all around the country to battle this virus. I just want to help out as best as I can."

Away from the hospitals, both Cronin and Grant have been trying to keep themselves active but soccer, understandably, is not at the forefront of their thoughts right now.

The FAI remains committed to restarting the Women's National League in June.

Last week the association extended a ban on all football-related activity until 5 May, though they are still aiming to restart the men's and women's domestic leagues in a month and a half.

For now though, Cronin and Grant's fighting qualities are being used off the field of play.

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Listen to the RTÉ Soccer podcast onApple PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.