Briege Corkery remains undecided on her inter-county future, remarking that she’s “enjoying the time off” and is “content” lining out at club level, writes Eoghan Cormican.
The holder of 11 football and six camogie All-Ireland medals did not feature for either Cork team in 2017, opting to take a break from the inter-county scene.
The 30-year old has been part of both Cork set-ups since the early 00s, she was introduced as a sub in the 2003 All-Ireland camogie final aged just 16, but is unsure whether she’ll return to the fold in 2018.
“To be honest, I don’t really know,” she told the Real Talks podcast.
“I did enjoy my time off. Did I miss it? A small bit, but not a whole pile. The thing about me is I know I am young enough to still go again. The question is, do I want to give that commitment.
“The whole reason I didn’t mention retirement is that I don’t want my decision closed for me.
“At the moment, I am unsure about what I’ll do, but I’m very content with playing club. On Sundays, as opposed to being gone playing a match, it was nice to be able to sit down and make the dinner.”
Corkery, despite winning her 11th football medal in 2016 and appearing in a 10th All-Ireland camogie decider, admits she didn’t particularly enjoy the year.
“When people asked me, when do you think you'll retire, I always said, ‘the moment I stop enjoying it’. Last year, I didn’t enjoy it. I found myself getting that little bit more bitter. I found myself, after big matches, looking through the newspapers to see was my name on it and how well did I play. I started to question myself all the time. When you start questioning yourself that means you’re not enjoying it that much.
“For years, I never looked through papers, never looked through a match report. Definitely, towards the end, I felt I was starting to do that. I wasn’t enjoying it and knew I shouldn’t have been looking for my name in the paper.
“I used to take a dig better than I’d take a compliment. Towards the end, the digs were coming and I couldn’t take them. The compliments were coming and I wouldn’t take them either. Nothing was matching up for me. Was it because I was getting older and finding it harder to get fitter, finding it harder to last the whole game. My whole thing as a player was that I was never the most skilful player, but I definitely worked hard. My fitness was a big thing. Did I feel I was flailing a small bit? I don’t know.
“In the football in 2016, I felt I did OK. In the camogie, with every game, I felt my confidence going. When your confidence drops, it is hard to get it back up again.”
Having been twinned with Rena Buckley since the pair were teenagers, Corkery says she was thrilled to see the Cork camogie captain pick up her 18th All-Ireland medal in September.
“For me, it was never for the medals, it was for the pure enjoyment."