THE last time Wexford reached the All-Ireland senior camogie final 25-year-old Ferns native Josie Dwyer was preparing for a different trip to Croke Park – the 2007 Ladies All-Ireland Intermediate football final which the girls in purple and gold would eventually lose to Leitrim.
A mere two years on and the footballers had slumped to Junior level.
In the mean time Dwyer had foreseen that change in fortunes and joined up with the camogie girls under the then tutelage of Stellah Sinnott. However missing that winner’s medal was something that rankles to this day.
“I was playing both football and hurling and I made a decision to go with the football that year,” said Dwyer. “With work commitments I couldn’t physically do both. It wasn’t fair to either sport, or to myself, so I made a decision.
“I have regretted it at times but that’s the choice you make, you have to live by it. It could have been a happy year for me but look, I get a chance to correct it I suppose; to make amends for the decision I made.”
When Dwyer isn’t doing her day job as a guard she is probably driving between her work base in Kildare Town and her latest training session somewhere around her home county.
“It’s fine now when you’re in September and facing into an All-Ireland final, you’ve no problem driving down three times a week for county (training), I’d drive five hours, but when you’re there in January and your driving down in freezing cold nights, it is a hard task.”
On Sunday Dwyer will have an equally tough task of changing her purpose in the team. From being the woman entrusted with stopping 2009 camogie Player of the Year Anne Dalton she now must be the one stopped as she lines up at left corner-forward.
“I knew I was able to hold her, I mean Anne Dalton, she is a class player, no one can say that she isn’t. But at the end of the day if you stick with someone, and I went out and was determined to do that, some days it will work and some days it doesn’t.
“It’s a different task (at corner-forward) but JJ (Doyle, Wexford camogie manager) has spoken to me about what he wants from me there, I just have to be showing for the ball and taking on players, I’ve no problem trying it anyway and hopefully it will go well.”
Meanwhile Galway captain, Therese Maher, is hoping it will be a case of 13th time lucky in Sunday’s clash.
An All Star three times, Maher came onto the scene just after Galway’s only senior success in 1996 and has spent the past 13 years bidding for an elusive All-Ireland.
“I played in two senior finals in 1997 and 1998 and lost them both. It was another ten years before I got back to another final, which we didn’t win either,” she said.
“We are all here because we have a talent but the big thing in an All-Ireland final is getting the mentality right on the day.’’
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