COROFIN have been in bonus territory since they won the county final but Brenda O’Donoghue feels an All-Ireland would really cap a great year.
The wing-back said coming out on top in Clare was the whole purpose of the 2010 campaign.
“For us, winning the county championship was the main thing this year and we were going all out for that. We’d been beaten for the last two years in the final and you’d have to wonder how long you’d keep going without winning it. Winning that was the thing for us this year and anything after that was a bonus. When we went down to the Munster final, I wouldn’t say our attitude was that we could take it or leave it but we weren’t as nervous as before the county final. Still, when you’re on the pitch, you don’t want to leave it behind you,” Brenda said.
It’s been a long year for the Corofin girls and with the onset of winter, training has had to be adjusted in the last few weeks. When Brenda spoke to The Clare Champion last Thursday, they had just had a session on one of the wettest nights of the year.
“The conditions were probably the worst we’ve had since we started training last February. We got a fair soaking but up to that, we had been lucky enough. The Munster final was on around October 16 and since then, the weather hasn’t been great and we’ve had long nights. That has curtailed us a bit but our fitness levels are fairly good, so it’s more ballwork we’re trying to do. We did a session on the AstroTurf in Lisdoonvarna, which was quite good. The playing pitch in Corofin isn’t floodlit so we use the training pitch and that wouldn’t have been cut for a while.”
She said motivation doesn’t seem to have dipped much, despite the long year, among either players or management.
“There are girls as young as 17 and they’re as committed as the seasoned players. To get to an All-Ireland final is a bit unreal but it kind of hit home last Sunday when we were playing in Corofin and we saw the crowd that came along, young and old, people who probably hadn’t been at a camogie match for years.”
A native of Ruan, she has been with Corofin for three years and has played in a few positions. A few years ago, she retired from Barefield but is now glad she came back.
“The girls my age were retiring so I opted out but I missed it. Then I heard that Corofin were looking for players so I went back playing with them. They threw me in full-forward when I joined them but it was still a problem with me there because I wasn’t a full-forward. Then I went wing-forward, then wing-back and I was put midfield to mark one or two people last year. I was moved wing-back for the county final and that’s where I’ve been left for the moment.”
She said the local community has got behind the team and a lot of people outside of the panel have given a great level of commitment.
“Corofin have had a bad year in terms of their hurlers and their footballers, so it’s great to have something that will pull the community together. The support that we get from the GAA is great and our board as well have done a great job. A lot of people have given their time.”
The level of camaraderie among the panel is excellent, she says. “You’d have Niamh O’Dea, who was up for an All-Star award and everybody would have been texting her and facebooking her and wishing her well. There’s a great sense of friendship, I can’t say a bad word about it. I have children and they come to the training sessions and all the girls are great with them as well,” she concluded.