By Niamh Archibald
Grainne McGoldrick picked up the first ever Irish News Camogie Merit Award at their annual GAA All-Star Awards on Thursday.
McGoldrick who will captain her club team Eoghan Rua, Coleraine in their first ever appearance at the Killmacud Seven’s this weekend was delighted to recieve the award saying: “”It is a great honour to receive this award, with the season ending on a disappointing note it is nice to receive some recognition. It is really nice to see female athletes getting recognition, with the ladies footballers picking up an award for the first time as well, as we train equally as hard and put in the same level of dedication. It was a privilege to be at the award ceremony and to be in the presence of so many successful athletes.””
The eldest member of one of
Grainne acknowledges the influence of her family stating that it was her mother and father who played a vital role in her development as a player: “”When I was 11 years old my dad took me to hurling training with him down at
Since then Grainne has gone on to become one of Ulster’s finest players operating either in midfield or in the half-forward line she has the ability to strike fear into opposition defenses. She has been a key figure in all the teams she has played for helping Jordanstown to two Purcell Cups, picking up a university combined in process and staring for Derry in the Ulster Championship, as well as on the biggest stage of all – at
Yet for all her achievements and accolades Grainne remains an unassuming and quiet character leading by example through her skill and work rate on the field. It is not surprising that she is often singled out for special treatment from opposing teams but she simply puts her head down determined to guide her team to victory.
She is one of the finest players in
Speaking about special moments Grainne states that “”there is something about winning alongside your team that’s special.”” She was an instrumental figure in historic victories for
“”I remember winning my first club championship in 2005; we came from 11 points down to win by one and the feeling I had after that game was something else. It definitely makes it one of the proudest moments in my camogie career. Obviously winning the All-Ireland with Derry is up there as well because we had to work so hard for it and when Ashling Diamond scored that goal in the fifth minute of injury timeàit was unreal,”” she said.
Despite losing out to Cork in the All-Ireland Intermediate Semi-Final Grainne firmly believes that Derry have what it takes to go all the way next year and move up to Senior level: “”We’ve been knocking on the door for the past two years, last year we didn’t play well and this year honestly I’ve never seen a team that deserved to win a game more, in the end I think we beat ourselves. Although we lost on Saturday the girls are coming away with confidence because we know that we’re not that far away and we’ll be in with a big shout next year. There is a lot of underage talent in
With the County season drawing to a close Grainne’s focus has switched.
“”Club is my priority now, we have a chance of winning some silverware with both the
A fantastically classy player who is blessed with speed, skill and an ability to both take her scores and create them for others, she urges young players to get out with a hurl in their hand everyday and practice striking.
“”Striking is a major skill in camogie but it is often underestimated, people think if they get fit and work at lifting the ball they’ll get better and while that helps for me it’s those who can strike a ball really well that stand out,”” said Grainne.
Mc Goldrick is a name which stands out in Derry and beyond, certainly Grainne could take her place in any team in