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15th Dec 2023

Camogie Player-cam video takes you inside the game like never before


By Cliona Foley

Everyone knows how central family is in GAA clubs and Dicksboro will embody that in their first ever AIB All-Ireland senior camogie club final on Sunday.

Opponents Sarsfields, the defending two in-a-row champions, famously feature the McGrath sisters, whose father manages them but the Leinster champions from Kilkenny city have their own sibling stars in three Cliffords (Jenny, Tara and Amy) and three Phelan sisters (Niamh, Ciara and Emer).

And Dicksboro’s management team unusually features three brothers whose name is indelibly associated with the small ball Noreside.

The Carrolls (Donal, Ted and David) are sons of the late Ted Carroll who was secretary of Kilkenny GAA’s county board in the 1990s and their sister Helen is the well-known journalist who hosts RTE’s television farming flagship ‘Ear to the Ground’.

The Carrolls also have daughters on the panel in teenagers Caoimhe and Sinead (Ted’s daughters) and Angela (Donal’s daughter).

Dicksboro’s selectors also include the Carrolls’ first cousin, former Kilkenny senior Dan O’Neill, as well as Catherine Peters (their strength and conditioning coach) and former player Emer Tynan.

Ted was  the first of the Carroll brothers to get involved and was responsible for roping in Donal five years ago.

“It happened by accident.

“I’d done a bit with the hurling side of the club and was on a bit of a sabbatical and had just started working with the U14 camogie team,” manager Donal explains.

“Ted was secretary of the camogie club and they had a vacancy with the senior team.

“I said I’d need him to come in with me because I didn’t really know anyone on the camogie side and, through naïve luck, we managed to win the county title first time out.

“I was reluctant to bring in a third brother this year,” he admits.

“But I couldn’t get anyone else and David has a background in psychology – he teaches it – which brought another dimension.”

Players and management alike credit David Carroll’s psychological advice with their trademark ability to clawing their way back to victory.

“David has done a lot of work with them and, as he says himself, they’re now comfortable being uncomfortable,” Donal observes.

“We keep telling them to stick to the process and not to panic and they don’t.”

Dicksboro trailed Loughiel by five points in the All-Ireland semi-final but Asha McHardy’s 1-1 strike immediately after the break got them back in the game and they won the second half 2-7 to 0-2.

They were hit themselves by a rapid 1-1 from defending champions St Vincent’s after half-time in the Leinster final yet still prevailed.

“The good thing against ‘Vincents was they didn’t chase goals, they just whittled it back gradually and had a kind of belief in themselves,” Donal says.

But now they face giants of the club game in this awesome Sarsfields team. They are contesting an eighth final in seven years, chasing three in-a-row and their trademark is banging in goals.

Siobhan McGrath is an absolute maestro from that perspective. The young Galway dynamo always pops up, for both club and county, when goals are needed.

Indeed, having worn a player-cam for AIB’s The Toughest series during their semi-final win over Sarsfields, it was no surprise to see the corner forward do what she does…and score a goal.

You can watch the full player cam video below, which takes you inside the game like never before.

There will definitely be new names on the intermediate and junior trophies.

Clanmaurice, three-time junior finalists and champions in 2019, defied their lack of competition in Kerry by beating Blackrock (Cork) and Shamrocks (Galway) to reach the intermediate final (on RTE Player) where they meet Na Fianna of Meath whose goalkeeper Niamh Kirby and full-back Claire Coffey were heroic in their three-point victory over Eglish.

Athleague lost their first Junior A final eight years ago but are back to face Granemore of Armagh while 2003 Junior A champions Crossmaglen face first-time Westmeath finalists St Munna’s in the Junior B decider (both on Saturday and live on Camogie’s YouTube channel).

AIB All-Ireland Club Camogie Finals
Junior A: Athleague (Roscommon) v Granemore (Armagh), 1.0, Coralstown-Kinnegad (Live on Camogie YouTube).
Junior B: Crossmaglen (Armagh) v St Munna’s (Westmeath), 2.0, Abbottstown. (Live on Camogie YouTube).

AIB All-Ireland Club Camogie Finals, Croke Park.
Intermediate: Na Fianna (Meath) v Clanmaurice (Kerry), 3.0 (Live RTE Player).
Senior: Sarsfields (Galway) v Dicksboro (Kilkenny), 5.15 (Live RTE 2, 5.0).

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