Cork camogie captain Rena Buckley admits her decision to step down from the ladies football panel was due to work and study commitments.
The dual star has played football for Cork since 2003 and camogie since 2004. Running a physiotherapy business as well as studying for a master’s degree in UCD meant she struggled to play both codes this season. She didn’t feature in the national league and announced at the weekend that her focus would be on camogie.
“I didn’t have any extra time, I was caught with work and study and things like that. There wasn’t enough time in the day,” said Buckley.
“During the league, there’s a lot of travel time for matches and I couldn’t give up my weekends.”
Inniscarra’s county camogie title last year saw Buckley installed as skipper and that role also influenced her decision. “I’m the camogie captain and for this year, I’ll stick with that as I haven’t been with the footballers. I’ll review it again at the end of the year.
“I can’t speak highly enough of [Cork ladies football manager] Ephie Fitzgerald. I phoned him in early January and I told him that I was studying until May 12, and in fairness, he phoned me on May 12. I appreciated that and he gave me time again after that.”
Buckley was speaking at the launch of the second year of New Ireland Assurance’s sponsorship of the Cork team.
The Rebels begin their All-Ireland championship campaign against Tipperary on Saturday. They go into the game after losses in the league final to Kilkenny and the Munster final against Limerick. Buckley isn’t concerned about a hangover, though.
“We got to the league final and we lost it, we got to the Munster final and we lost it, we realise that we’re a little bit off the mark but we realise as well that we’re not too far away. We’ll just have to put in a little block of training, there’s a new championship starting so that brings a freshness. Hopefully, we’ve learned from the last two competitions and we can bring that experience into the championship.”
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