Tuesday 17 September 2019

New mentors' united front

Joint camogie team training

Team administrator Barbara Ryan representing Wexford at the Leinster
Convention in Portlaoise on Saturday
Team administrator Barbara Ryan representing Wexford at the Leinster Convention in Portlaoise on Saturday
Recipients of the 2014 club awards at the Clongeen ladies’ G.A.A. club get-together in The Oak Tree Lounge, Foulksmills. Back (from left): Emily King (most dedicated footballer), Geraldine Curtis (camogie player of the year), Caroline Butler-Hallissey (young footballer and camogie player of the year), Trina Sinnott (most improved camogie player), Claire Eustace (most improved footballer). Front (from left): Aoife Byrne (joint most dedicated Minor footballer), John Whelan (clubperson of the year), Samantha O’Grady (joint most dedicated Minor footballer)

Dean Goodison

The Wexford Senior and Intermediate camogie teams are back training together under new managers Colm McGee (St. Martin's) and Tom Dunphy (Duffry Rovers) respectively as they look ahead to the start of the National League at the end of February/beginning of March.

Both teams were put through their paces side-by-side under J.J. Doyle and trainer Gerry McQuaid when they won an All-Ireland double in 2011, and that formula will be put into practice again under new trainer Matty Flynn-O'Connor (Duffry Rovers).

However, the new Senior management team, which also includes selectors Mick Curran (Craanford-Monaseed) and John Kelly (St. Ibar's/Shelmalier), plus team administrator Barbara Ryan (St. Martin's), are still unsure exactly who they will have at their disposal come March 8 and their first game at home to Offaly.

One of those question marks wont be answered until at least February 1 when Oulart-The Ballagh play Loughgiel in the All-Ireland club championship semi-final. Indeed, if the county champions win that, like they are expected to, their contingent won't be available until after the final in March.

At least McGee can expect those stars back at some stage. A few other stalwarts are wavering on their commitment to the new regime with the inter-county future of two former All Star nominees, in particular, in serious question.

Fresh faces will be at a minimum in the Senior set-up but strong Minor and Under-16 teams last year means the Intermediate squad will be loaded with young talent and their way up the ranks can only be aided by the joint training arrangements.

Dunphy will be joined by Rose Ryan (Rapparees) and Donnacha Kerins (Rapparees) as selectors for the second string, and they will be hoping to improve on Martina Donnellan's win-less record as manager in 2014.

The Intermediates start their league campaign on February 22 in Westmeath before facing Kildare and Laois at home and finish with ties away to Antrim and Galway. Should they make the semi-final that clash is scheduled for April 19, with the final two weeks later.

Their championship starts on July 4 versus Down and games against Galway, Cork and Meath follow.

The All-Ireland semi-final is fixed for August 22 with the final part of a Croke Park triple-header on September 13.

The Seniors follow up their opening league clash against Offaly with a trip to Limerick. McGee's girls host Tipperary on March 22 and finish the round-robin stage in Galway. The league semi-final and final mirror the Intermediate equivalent.

The Leinster championship is yet to be fixed but the All-Ireland series begins against Offaly on June 27. Two home games against Limerick and Galway follow before the group ends in Cork. The quarters are scheduled for August 1 with the last four down for decision two weeks later.

One long-time servant of Wexford camogie will not return in 2015. Bridget Moran links all four Senior All-Irelands in the last decade, having been first aid person under Stellah Sinnott, J.J. Doyle and Helena Jacob.

It's a testament to the superb job that Oulart-The Ballagh clubwoman Moran has done for the team over the years that successive managers have looked for her to fill the post. She will be a big loss for the team this year.

Wexford People

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