Fixture details have been announced for the Clare senior and junior camogie squads 2021 Littlewoods National League campaigns.
Ger O’Connell’s charges have been grouped with neighbours Galway and Limerick in Group One of Division One, and begin their campaign with a trip to take on the Tribeswomen on Saturday May 15. Clare will have home advantage a week later against Limerick, before a bye in the final round.
Last weekend also saw the Camogie Congress taking place, where the trial rules introduced last year were ratified for the coming season. Clare captain and Inagh-Kilnamona clubwoman Clare Hehir, feels it was a progressive step.
“It was all very positive with the new rules being passed which is good to see. We are no longer allowed handpass goals or drop the hurley, but hopefully things like the contact rule will make a big difference. It is something we had been waiting to happen so it was good to see that passed and it might help bring a bit more freedom to the game now. We will have wait and test out the contact ruling and see what referees will and won’t be pulling for. It is new at the moment so we will have to try it out and see how it goes”, she noted.
With onfield action set to resume from next week, the former Ashbourne winning UL captain admits everyone is looking forward to getting back to collective sessions once more.
“We are coming to the end of the individual sessions now thankfully. I didn’t think we would ever see the back of them there for a while. I think everyone is just looking forward to getting back seeing the girls on the squad really because you would miss that with the fun we have at training, that really is the main thing. After that, it is just a case of getting back into the swing of it. Doing those sessions on your own is really difficult and the more you think about them, the more difficult they become. It is just about ploughing through them and trying to keep in mind that they are worthwhile doing and they will stand to you later in the year. That is what we tried to do this year especially. We knew that we were not going to have a massive training block before our first match so those sessions will stand to us” she outlined.
With the camogie squad this year having the backing of the new Club Clare group, Hehir feels having that support is a major boost for all involved.
“The support has been brilliant to see. We are delighted to be involved in it and it has been really positive. It is hard to go fundraising in these times so it is a great initiative. It was great to see the underage camogie sides included in it too. When you become a member, you are supporting all grades in both codes, so we are hoping that people will continue coming on board because it really means a lot us. Hopefully we can push on and keep that momentum going. There are 11 teams being supported by it so every bit of backing we get will help those teams” she said.
Meanwhile, the Clare Junior side, who missed out on last year’s championship after “second teams” were forced to stand down amid Covid-19 restrictions, will also get their Division Three campaign underway on Saturday May 15.
They are part of a four team group along with Limerick, Waterford and Carlow, and will have games over three consecutive weekends. It starts with a trip to Limerick before a home tie against Waterford. They round off the group stages with a trip to take on Carlow.