"I think it's important" - Walsh encourages more women to get involved in management 2 months ago

"I think it's important" - Walsh encourages more women to get involved in management

If you're reading this Brian Dowling then rest assured, there is nothing to worry about.

Miriam Walsh doesn't want you to be replaced as Kilkenny manager - the opposite is true - but in more general terms, the Tullaroan woman reckons it's about time more women got involved in inter-county management.

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Offaly boss Susan Earner is one of the few female managers in inter-county camogie at the moment and having played and won an All-Ireland under Kilkenny great Ann Downey, Walsh would encourage more past players to get involved.

Downey's sister Angela is still a part of the Kilkenny camogie set-up, as is her former team-mate Breda Holmes, and Walsh says that their contribution has been huge.

"We had great years with Ann Downey, winning the All-Ireland in 2016. It was great to have Ann in that year. We still have Breda Holmes and Angela Downey in as part of our set-up now so, I think it's important that you have a woman in there.

"If you have any problems, for some of them, it might be easier to approach a woman than a man so I think that's important."

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But Brian Dowling is in charge at the moment and the corner forward speaks glowingly of him and his management team, which includes Henry Shefflin's brother Tommy.

"We have the best management team in the country I think," said Walsh.

"We have a great bond with them. I think if they had to have stepped away, I think Kilkenny would have went back a small bit. Tommy Shefflin is all about getting ball-to-hand straight away, he has so much experience and his training sessions are brilliant, so intense, and I've never trained under someone like him."

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Walsh is now 11 years on the Kilkenny panel, having first been called in by Downey when she was just fifteen years of age, and even with the increasing commitment, she's enjoying it as much as ever.

"I first went in when I was fifteen. I'm eleven years in there now and it's completely changed. It was a Tullaroan match against Johnstown and I remember Ann Downey was there. I don't think I hit a ball out of my way that day because I was so worried that she was there but I got the call that night and I was delighted.

"It turned out I was too young and I had to go home and I was devastated but I went back in a again the following year.

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"It's the friendships that keep me coming back. My mam and dad love going to all my matches.

"It's only in the last two or three years since we've been introduced to gym-work and dieticians and all that and that has improved it all. We do the gym work twice a week as well, and recovery sessions so there is a lot too it."

26 May 2022; Awards winners, from left, PwC GPA Player of the Month for April in ladies football, Michelle Guckian of Leitrim, PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for April in football, Paul Conroy of Galway, PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for April in hurling, Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick, and PwC GPA Player of the Month for April in camogie, Miriam Walsh of Kilkenny, at Eyre Square in Galway. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile