Limerick camogie boss Quaid on a mission to right wrongs of the past

As an opening line it’s a strong one and pretty much sums up manager Joe Quaid’s sense of mission with the Limerick intermediate camogie team.

Limerick camogie boss Quaid on a mission to right wrongs of the past

“I’m 42 years on this earth and I’ve never seen a Limerick person climb up the steps of the Hogan Stand,” said Quaid.

“I’ve lost two finals out there as a player and the girls lost one last year.”

Quaid, of course, is the former Limerick goalkeeper of some renown who played in the 1994 and 1996 All-Ireland final defeats to Offaly and Wexford respectively.

A few weeks back, Quaid watched the present Limerick hurling team give what he described as ‘the best Limerick performance I’ve ever seen’ against Kilkenny in the semi-finals. Yet they still lost.

“You’d wonder what do you have to do?” he pondered.

Still, he hasn’t given up ahead of the camogie team’s final with the Cats this Sunday, not by a long shot.

In fact, it is his effervescent personality and thirst for success that may just drive the Shannonsiders on to a famous win. Mind you, the job only came about by default in the first place.

“I planned to be up here with our minors this year because I had them for three years but we didn’t get the minor job so that’s how I ended up taking on the camogie,” he explained.

“To be honest, I’d never been at a match. It took a while to realise they wanted to be treated the same way as the fellas, no sugar coating.

“We’ve tried to break them (physically) a few times this year now, drove them into the ground in training for two and a quarter hours and just had to stop. They beat us!

“They were walking down the field afterwards talking and yapping and we were wrecked from watching them.

“The level of training they do and are capable of doing is phenomenal. When you tell them something they try and do it whereas fellas would be, ‘yeah, I’m listening’ but then go out and do what they always did.”

As the players gathered in a circle in front of Hill 16 after last year’s two-point final loss to Galway, they made a pact to return. And the addition of Aoife Sheehan and Claire Mulcahy has energised them.

Quaid accepts his own shot at glory has passed but reckons this Limerick bunch deserve their day in the sun. They have poured every ounce of effort into the cause.

“I held a tackle bag for them one night and I wasn’t able to walk for two days after it,” he recalled. “They’re as hard as nails. I’d hate to go home to one of them and tell them I lost the wages on a horse! Sarah Carey at centre-back, it’s like watching Ciarán (her father). I tell Ciarán he wouldn’t lace her boots! When she hits people we say they’ve been ‘Carey-ed!”

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