Of the 11 campaigns representing Cork at senior level, 2013 ranked among the most draining, the most testing. The camogie season again ended without the coveted piece of championship silverware, while the footballers, off the back of successive championship defeats, stuttered all the way to September’s finishing line.
At 27, Corkery is determined her remaining years at the inter-county table will be without regret.
“It is getting harder to keep both codes on the road. You are getting older and of course you find it more difficult. You have to mind yourself more. You must enjoy it, though, and you must realise you are not going to be playing sport forever,” says the Cloughduv native.
“There is only another couple of years left in a few of us. We’ve been on the go for more than a decade now. You want to end on a high note. You want to be as successful as you can be while you are still out there. If you don’t have that desire to win, there is not much point being out there.
“Keeping the enjoyment is down to myself and the respective management teams. As you get older, it is harder to enjoy because you have to train harder to get and keep fit. Then, you also feel you need a bit of time for yourself. This year, I am really enjoying it, more so than last year. I realised there is only a few years left in me and I might as well enjoy it while I am out there. I don’t want to have regrets when I go.”
Corkery will line out at full-forward in today’s All-Ireland camogie semi-final joust with Wexford, talk of regret returning to our conversation.
“I think our main aim for this year is not to come off the pitch with regrets. That is particularly emphasised given what happened in Thurles during last year’s semi-final.
“Kilkenny wanted it more. We went in a little bit complacent. We had too many regrets after last year that we didn’t do this right or that right. This year, we can’t have regrets. We are going to have to perform.
“Wexford already beat us in the group stages and that was a very disappointing result. We forgot how classy they are up front. Our own forward line didn’t perform. We weren’t clinical enough. We need to get that edge back. The Galway game that followed was important simply to get a second win under our belt. In championship, Wexford have had the edge over us and championship is where it counts. We had a couple of league final wins over them, but championship is more important. They have had the better of us and we want to change that.”
Indeed, Cork have not slain the Model County in the knockout stages of the championship since 2009, the county’s most recent All-Ireland final triumph arriving a month later. Corkery’s camogie medal haul stands at four, her collection of football Celtic-crosses double that figure.
“We are just after hitting a funny spell with the camogie. The talent is there. We just need to get together as a unit and pull it off. We have Wexford on Saturday and it is going to be an epic match for us. We will need to be at 110% and all 20 girls used will have to be performing out of their skin. Too many times have we come up short against Wexford.
“When I came on board we lost one or two All-Ireland finals and then we had the succession of wins in 2005, 2006 and 2008, our last being 2009. We have been waiting a while now to get back. We want to win it. We want to perform. We are taking every game as it comes so you can’t talk about finals when the semi-final has yet to be put away. Wexford is the sole focus.”