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Flanagan aiming to have a ball at Croker

Thu 04th Jul

Daragh Ó Conchúir


by Daragh Ó Conchúir
Emma Flanagan is thrilled to be back at Croke Park with Dublin, as part of a double-header with the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Clare.

The Dubs get under way at 12.30pm against the Noresiders in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie quarter-final and if the opposition might have an advantage in support given the hurlers’ involvement, lining out at HQ in the knockout stages trumps all that for Flanagan.

It is 14 years since the Lucan Sarsfields veteran made her debut, as a sub against Saturday’s opposition, and for most of the intervening period, she has proven a reliable focal point up the spine of the Dublin attack.

Her presence has proven even more important this season, with captain, the former All-Star and newly appointed joint chair of the GPA, Aisling Maher relocated to centre-back.

There have been more ebb and flow in the Metropolitans’ fortunes than any tide during Flanagan’s career so the full-forward has learned to relish when things are good.

“It’s nice to be playing in Croke Park. It’s something to look forward to,” says Flanagan.

“It’s not often we get the chance to play in such venues. A couple of weeks ago we played Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is such a beautiful ground. Playing in stadiums like that adds so much more to the occasion.

“Now we are on the double bill with the All-Ireland senior hurling championship semi-final. That’s a big day in the GAA calendar. It’s brilliant to be a part of that, and we are hoping that spectators will come early and watch our game.

“I feel that playing in places like Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Croke Park shows just how much camogie, ladies’ football, and women’s sport in general, have grown.”

Flanagan scored an important goal as Dublin produced their best performance of the season by beating Wexford in what was billed as the key game with regards to the final qualifying spot in their group.

They had beaten the same opposition in the Very League Division 1B final courtesy of an injury time goal from Grace O’Shea and then got to within five points of Kilkenny in the Leinster final prior, all offering signs of improvement for the apex of the year.

“We are happy with the season so far. Winning the League and now getting to the All-Ireland quarter-final represents progress. I think we have been improving all along. And growing with each game.

“When we looked at our group at the start of the season, we felt we had a good chance of getting results against Down, Clare and Wexford in our efforts to get to the quarter-final.”

Job done but they’re not finished yet.

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