Heartache, trauma and serious injury but Power just can't ignore the grá for it 1 month ago

Heartache, trauma and serious injury but Power just can't ignore the grá for it

"I think this team are better than one All-Ireland, for all the talent that’s there, I find that difficult to comprehend..."

Camogie is a vocation for Katie Power.

14 years a Kilkenny senior, she's a stalwart of the black and amber jersey who's seen good times and bad, who's cherished the highs and been traumatised by the lows.

A 3-time All-Star, an All-Ireland winner with club and county, an Ashbourne Cup hall of famer and a Young Player of the Year - it's a phenomenal innings by any stretch, and surely enough success and silverware to fall back on in times of uncertainty -  but it's the lows that linger longest.

Power is a ferocious competitor, and the losses hit harder than the wins reward.

Camogie has a lot to answer for.

But despite all the heartache and grief, still so fresh in her mind having lost a third All-Ireland final in a row last winter, as well as coming out on the losing side in a county final with her club Piltown just a couple of months later, Power has the grá for it and when you have the grá, you can't just forget about it.

That's why, having ended such a galling year with a badly broken and seriously dislocated finger, she's still itching to get back into the thick of it so she can do it all again.

"It becomes harder every year. Not even the hunger part but...It probably takes longer to recover from it. I personally think, I’m obviously biased but I think this team are better than one All-Ireland, you know we’ve all only won one and for the talent that’s there and for that to go by and to say that this group has only won one All-Ireland - I don’t know, I find that difficult to comprehend," she says at the launch of the Littlewoods Camogie Leagues.

"How do we keep coming back? I don’t know. It’s just so hard to get there. Even this year, you’re just like ‘if we can just get back there.’ It’s breaking it down, not thinking about an All-Ireland but going game by game, but still, it is so difficult and it’s just a mountain for us to climb at the moment but we’ll just keep trying our best..."

Power winces at the losses, much more so than the finger that would have kept a sane person out of action last year. She passed over operations and advice, in order to hurl with the aid of injections, a strapping and a hurling glove.

"Two injections either side and then strap it and then glove and hope for the best. It obviously didn't do a great job, we didn't win but it could be worse."

"It's similar enough to Michael Rice's injury a couple of years ago. I don't know if you'd be familiar with that. He was was out six to eight months.

"The first person I met on Monday was saying that was going to be my story. That's not really an option at the moment. I don't have a timeline but I'm hoping that I'm not going to miss the season over it..."

She's out of Kilkenny training at the minute. But you can count on her for the business stages. As for the training, she's running herself but can't help only notice the increased physicality on the back of camogie's rule changes.

"Definitely. Even just in tackling and stuff like that, before we would have had to have been training to that tackle rule - you want to tackle hard but if you’re going to tackle hard you’d have been called for a free -  whereas now, girls are absolutely - the backs are delighted because they can leather off the forwards no bother - the forwards are still whinging but the way the lads are training us now, there’s not as much training to the tackle..."

One of Kilkenny’s most stylish players Katie Power and one of Galway's most stylish players Heather Cooney are pictured at the launch of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues. Camogie, like many women’s sports in Ireland, is going through a transformative and revolutionary period in terms of style and culture. The fashion, sportswear, electrical and homeware retailer will see how ‘Style Meets Substance’ during the Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League.