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Captain Henchy focused on performance

When Clare glide onto Croke Park on Sunday, they will be led by Louise Henchy, who also captained the team last year. The Banner Ladies player, an accountant by profession, is confident that Clare will be purely focused on the game this weekend, having experienced what it’s like to play in Croke Park almost exactly 12 months ago.
“The number one thing now is to win. Last year maybe the occasion got to us a bit. All we’ve to focus on now is the 60 minutes, getting out there and doing the job,” the Clare midfielder said after training in Cooraclare last Friday night.
“A lot of us were there last year and hopefully we’ll give the girls that weren’t there an insight into it. As I said, the match is the most important thing,” she reiterated.
Clare played Fermanagh away on August 22 in a match where the result wasn’t overly significant, as both counties had already qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final.
Fittingly, the game finished level but Henchy says that Clare garnered plenty of evidence as to how their opponents are likely to play this weekend.
“We struggled to break them down that day. They put a lot of people behind the ball. They don’t really hold their positions that much. They kind of funnel back and there might be only two or three forwards up at any one time. So that’s going to be hard to break it down but hopefully we can use the wide pitch to our advantage and open them out. But we have to focus on our own game most importantly,” she maintained.
Clare returned to training last winter, not long after their final defeat. They did so with the sole intention of returning to Croke Park and leaving as winners.
“That’s the reason we came back training in November. It was just a sickener losing last year. We didn’t play well on the day. It’s hard enough losing a match when you play well but losing a match you didn’t perform in; it’s awful. We just have to put it right now this year,” Louise vowed.

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