The Linda Mellerick column: Spanish treat is well deserved for our camogie All-Stars

The Linda Mellerick column: Spanish treat is well deserved for our camogie All-Stars
Cork's Ashling Thompson and Siobhan McGrath of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

THE camogie All-Stars will go on tour for the first time this year, with Madrid the destination for the travelling party.

Madrid might seem a strange choice, but I’m sure the girls are quite happy with it, and as the tour is designed to reward players for their achievements and to spread the game to new audiences in Europe, then why not Madrid?

It’s long overdue. Oh, to be a player today! We had no All-Stars, no trips and little gear. But we were more than happy with our lot at the time and it’s great to see the off-field matters improving all the time.

The tour will take place from November 29 to December 2 and will see two teams comprising of the winning senior All-Stars from both the 2016 and 2017 awards ceremonies. The 2017 awards are on in the Citywest on November 4 and the sides will face each other in an exhibition match in the Spanish capital. I’m wondering how that’s going to play out as Cork and Kilkenny dominated the 2016 awards and will do so again for 2017.

How will they make two teams from a similar bunch? Maybe they’ll take a few old ones with them. Must check the diary just in case!

Deirdre Ashe, director of personal lines for Liberty Insurance said: “The tour that we’re announcing builds on our continued commitment to the promotion of women in sport and rewards the 2016 and 2017 All-Stars, each of whom are role models in their communities, for their dedication, skill and commitment.

“The trip to Spain is deserved recognition for the country’s finest athletes and provides an opportunity to showcase the game to new audiences.”

Cork have 11 nominations this year. No surprise there. Goalkeeper Aoife Murray, defenders Rena Buckley, Pamela Mackey, Gemma O’Connor, Eimear O’Sullivan and Laura Treacy. Ashling Thompson has been nominated at midfield while Orla Cronin, Orla Cotter, Katrina Mackey and Amy O’Connor are nominated among the forwards.

Gemma is seeking an incredible 10th award. It just goes to show how impressive Eimear O’Sullivan was in the final. After not seeing a significant amount of game time during the year, she still received a nomination. Her performance in Croke Park sealed it.

Willie Coleman, president Ballinhassig GAA, congratulating club member, Eimear O’Sullivan, on winning an All-Ireland Camogie medal, when she brought the O’Duffy Cup to the club’s fundraiser at Curraheen Park. Picture: Mike English
Willie Coleman, president Ballinhassig GAA, congratulating club member, Eimear O’Sullivan, on winning an All-Ireland Camogie medal, when she brought the O’Duffy Cup to the club’s fundraiser at Curraheen Park. Picture: Mike English

Kilkenny received nine nominations. Goalkeeper Emma Kavanagh, defenders Anne Dalton, Catherine Foley and Grace Walsh. Meighan Farrell is nominated at midfield, while Denise Gaule, Julie Ann Malone, Katie Power and Miriam Walsh are nominated among the forwards.

Dublin got seven because of their run to the semi-finals; goalkeeper Faye McCarthy, defenders Eva Marie Elliott, Hannah Hegarty, Eve O’Brien and Áine Woods, midfielder Eimear McCarthy, and forward Aisling Maher.

Galway have six. Defenders Heather Cooney and Tara Kenny, midfielders Niamh Kilkenny and Ann Marie Starr, and forwards Aoife Donohue and Ailish O’Reilly.

Clare got the nod five times with defenders Máire McGrath and Róisín McMahon, midfielder Orlaith Duggan, and forwards Aoife Keane and Chloe Morey.

Wexford received four nominations; defenders Bríd Gordon and Sarah O’Connor,forwards Chloe Foxe and Shelley Kehoe. Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford receive one nomination each with Limerick’s Niamh Mulcahy, Tipp’s Orla O’Dwyer and Waterford’s Beth Carton all named among the forwards.

Paudie Murray (Cork), John Davis (Meath) and Johnny Greville (Westmeath) are among the nominees for Manager of the Year, which will be announced on the night along with the 2017 All-Stars team.

The nominees for the Intermediate Soaring Stars will be announced shortly.

Nominees for the Camogie Association/WGPA Senior, Intermediate and Junior Players’ Player of the Year Awards, sponsored by Liberty Insurance, will be announced next week.

As the focus already turns to 2018, Dublin manager David Herity has set an early market with the announcement that he is to stay in charge of the capital side and build on the progress made over the past couple of seasons.

Camogie All-Stars 2017 nominees list

Goalkeepers: Aoife Murray (Cork), Faye McCarthy (Dublin), Emma Kavanagh (Kilkenny).

Full-Back line: Máire McGrath (Clare), Rena Buckley (Cork), Laura Treacy (Cork), Eve O’Brien (Dublin), Áine Woods (Dublin), Tara Kenny (Galway), Catherine Foley (Kilkenny), Grace Walsh (Kilkenny), Sarah O’Connor (Wexford).

Half-Back line: Róisín McMahon (Clare), Pamela Mackey (Cork), Gemma O’Connor (Cork), Eimear O’Sullivan (Cork), Eva Marie Elliott (Dublin), Hannah Hegarty (Dublin), Heather Cooney (Galway), Anne Dalton (Kilkenny), Bríd Gordon (Wexford).

Midfield: Orlaith Duggan (Clare), Ashling Thompson (Cork), Eimear McCarthy (Dublin), Niamh Kilkenny (Galway), Ann Marie Starr (Galway), Meighan Farrell (Kilkenny).

Half-Forward line: Aoife Keane (Clare), Orla Cronin (Cork), Orla Cotter (Cork), Katrina Mackey (Cork), Amy O’Connor (Cork), Denise Gaule (Kilkenny), Katie Power (Kilkenny), Niamh Mulcahy (Limerick) Shelley Kehoe (Wexford).

Full-Forward line: Chloe Morey (Clare), Aisling Maher (Dublin), Aoife Donohue (Galway), Ailish O’Reilly (Galway), Julie Ann Malone (Kilkenny), Miriam Walsh (Kilkenny), Orla O’Dwyer (Tipperary), Beth Carton (Waterford), Chloe Fox (Wexford).

Manager of the Year: Paudie Murray (Cork), John Davis (Meath), Johnny Greville (Westmeath).

The trip to Spain is deserved recognition for the country’s finest athletes and provides an opportunity to show the game to new audiences.

More in this section

Sponsored Content