Club & County Unite: Caman with My Club Feature. This week's feature Club & County Star throws in with Molly Dunne (Eyrecourt & Galway Camogie Club) ahead of the upcoming Liberty Insurance Camogie Finals. Liberty Insurance are providing €1000 to the best club banner in Croke Park on Sunday September 15th.
Name: Molly Dunne
Eyrecourt Camogie Club
Where is your club?
My club is located in the parish of Eyrecourt in the south east corner of Galway, we’re actually right on the Offaly border which is something we get a lot of stick about! The majority of us would have gone to secondary school in Banagher Offaly. Our club grounds are in Clonfert, right in the heart of the parish. We’re a small rural club bordering 3 other Galway clubs – Kiltormer, Killimor and Portumna, so there’s a nice bit of rivalry there.
Where are your team members from?
My team members would be all from within the parish. The two rural areas of Clonfert and Meelick and the small village of Eyrecourt. We have a small parish and a small pick, our club grounds would be no more than a 3 minute drive from any house in the club.
How successful is your club?
For such a small parish we have a successful club. Year in year out we field teams at every level from U8 to Intermediate. We compete very well in the county every year at underage and adult levels. We are currently playing at Intermediate level but with some very promising and talented young girls coming along, we would be hoping to make the step to senior soon. We would have a number of girls involved with Galway underage squads. There were two girls, Mairead Burke and Ashling Downey on the Galway U16 team that lost the All Ireland a couple weeks back and then you have myself and Susan Earner involved in this year’s senior final and Paula Kenny taking to the pitch with the Intermediates. We have always had a few girls from the club representing the county at some level and it’s something the club is always very proud off and supportive off. It’s nice to be preparing for this year’s All-Ireland with 2 of your club mates and best friends!
How old is your club?
The club was formed in 1986
What are your Club Colours?
Royal Blue with a white sash
How many County Titles?
From underage to senior we would have about 13 County titles. We’ve definitely lost a lot more finals than we’ve won!
Are you originally from the area?
I’m from a small area called Brendanstown in Clonfert. My parents are from Offaly originally and 3 of my brothers would have been born in Offaly but they moved to Galway at the right time to make sure I was hurling the right side of the border!
Who are your club idols?
Una Lyons Naughton would have always been someone I looked up to. She was my first underage coach and really was the heart and soul of the club for a great number of years. She played a big part in setting up the club in "86 and just continued to drive it on from there. She was an unbelievable club woman both on and off the pitch. I actually made my first club Intermediate appearance at 14 when I came on for Una. I was lucky to have such a person mentoring us from day one and I know she will be a proud woman on the 15th of September looking down on three Eyrecourt women running out on Croke Park.
Niamh “maccy” McCormack is a good friend of mine that I would have a lot of respect for in the club. Maccy is our team captain this year and is a great club person. I’ve roped her into a lot of coaching gigs with the club over the years and she’s always been happy to help. She even sacrifices a lot of her holidays in work to be able to make training sessions and games. It’s great to see that level of commitment from your club players.
Winning the Minor championship in 2004. We beat Pearses in the final which was a massive win for a club like ours at the time. We hadn’t been able to field a minor team in championship for a few years before this. A few of us took it upon ourselves to get a team together for this championship. We had a few very strong players at that age and we knew if we gathered enough girls together to field a team we would stand a great chance. We got friends of ours back playing that had quit and pulled in a couple of young girls and girls that hadn’t played much at all and ended up with a panel of 21. It was a sweet one to win!
Club underage structure?
We would have a very active underage set up in the club. It’s something that has improved greatly in the last 5-6 years. We have some excellent coaches involved all the way from U8 right up. The parents are great to get involved and give a hand in whatever way they can too. It's nice to go up to the pitch on a Wednesday evening and see 20 U8s and 10s playing blitzes and training. This year I ran a mini-club Camogie camp at Easter for all girls from U8 to U14. We had parents, senior players and our U16 girls all giving up their free time & holidays to get involved in the coaching and running of the week. We’re a lucky club in that we have a number of great people involved in our club committee that are keen to see the club progress and improve each year.
Young super stars?
Mairead Burke and Ashling Downey and my own cousin Olivia Mannion are worth keeping an eye out for.
What would it mean to win an All Ireland?
I suppose it’s not until you’re asked the question do you really stop to realise how much it would mean. Our lives get consumed by it, we eat sleep and drink camogie and winning an All Ireland is the ultimate reward you can win as a team. So what would it mean? It simply means everything!