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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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'Never did I think that I'd be going to New York City to play camogie' - All-Stars Big Apple-bound

The country’s camogie elite face off in Gaelic Park on 23 November.

Sarah Healy, Grace Walsh and Amy O'Connor at today's launch.
Sarah Healy, Grace Walsh and Amy O'Connor at today's launch.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THE COUNTRY’S TOP camogie stars are New York-bound later this month, with the second-ever All-Stars Tour set for the Big Apple.

Two teams comprising of 2018 and 2019 All-Star winners and several nominees will face off in Gaelic Park in the Bronx on Saturday, 23 November. 

Following on from the first Tour to Madrid in 2017, there will be further ground broken Stateside as the exhibition match becomes the first camogie clash to be live streamed outside of Ireland [watch on Liberty Insurance's Facebook page, throw-in 9pm / 4pm local time].

While a list off all those jetting on Thursday, 21 November, is available below with players from seven counties featuring, Cork’s Amy O’Connor, Galway’s Sarah Healy and Kilkenny’s Grace Walsh were all in attendance at this afternoon’s launch at Croke Park. 

And understandably, excitement was well and truly building. 

“It’s very exciting,” four-time All-Ireland winner O’Connor, who collected her first All-Star recently, told The42. “I was never in New York so I’m really looking forward to it.

“It’s huge. I’m the first All-Star from my club as well so it’s very special at the moment. They’re thrilled with me. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s important to showcase camogie all over the world as best as we can.

By bringing it to New York, it’s brilliant for the game. It’s brilliant to showcase it over there, and hopefully camogie will just grow and grow and grow.

Joining her will be county team-mate and eight-time All-Star, Aoife Murray, and their manager, Paudie Murray, who yesterday recommitted to the Cork cause. 

2019 All-Ireland-winning Galway boss Cathal Murray will be the other manager on Tour, while 2018 and 2019 Players of the Year, Anne Dalton and Niamh Kilkenny, will also make the trip.

sean-brett-kathleen-woods-grace-walsh-sarah-healy-and-amy-oconnor Liberty Insurance's Seán Brett, President of the Camogie Association Kathleen Woods, and the star players. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Jesus, I kinda don’t even feel like it’s real,” Kilkenny star defender Grace Walsh noted at today’s launch. “It probably won’t feel like it until we’re actually on the plane.

“It’s class. Never did I think that I’d be going on a trip to New York City to play camogie. It’s one good thing you’ll take out of 2019,” Walsh added, in reference to the Cats’ third All-Ireland final defeat on the bounce. 

On a more positive note though, it’s a super opportunity to showcase the game abroad while representing her county and country, she explains:

“When I was younger in primary school and that, there were always Americans coming down. We always had to go down and teach them the basic skills. They were just amazed by us even just striking the ball. It will be cool to go out.

Anywhere you go that’s not Ireland if they see you with a hurl, everyone always questions it and wants to know how to do it. It will be cool to represent the country and represent your county as well. It’s great.

Galway goalkeeper Healy, who also recently collected her first All-Star, echoed Walsh and O’Connor’s sentiments. 

“It’s something special going to New York with seven of your team-mates so it will make it an even more exciting trip,” the teenager smiled.

grace-walsh-amy-oconnor-and-sarah-healy Walsh, O'Connor and Healy at Croke Park today. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“There’s a good gang and there’s a good gang then from other counties. You’ll get to talk to people that you wouldn’t necessarily have talked to before, that you just see on the pitch. You’ll see everyone in like a different light, no one will be focused on winning. It’s about having a good time really, showcasing camogie and what we can do.”

This will be Healy’s third time in New York as she has family over there, but she’s thoroughly looking forward to this unique occasion.

“I’ll be looking at it differently with a different group, and playing then will be unreal,” she adds, hoping they all come out to Gaelic Park in force. “I think they’re all going. I have a sister over there now so I think she’s going, they might all show up!”

Kildare’s Ray Kelly, referee of this year’s All-Ireland senior final, will be the man in the middle for the exhibition match, with the two teams as follows:

2018 All-Stars Team:

  • Aoife Murray (Cork)
  • Grace Walsh (Kilkenny)
  • Laura Treacy (Cork)
  • Pamela Mackey (Cork)
  • Hannah Looney (Cork)
  • Anne Dalton (Kilkenny)
  • Chloe Sigerson (Cork)
  • Gemma O’Connor (Cork)
  • Meighan Farrell (Kilkenny)
  • Orla Cotter (Cork)
  • Katie Power (Kilkenny)
  • Denise Gaule (Kilkenny)
  • Katrina Mackey (Cork)
  • Cáit Devane (Tipperary)
  • Orla Beagan (Dublin)

2019 All-Stars Team:

  • Sarah Healy (Galway)
  • Shauna Healy (Galway)
  • Sarah Dervan (Galway)
  • Edwina Keane (Kilkenny)
  • Heather Cooney (Galway)
  • Claire Phelan (Kilkenny)
  • Lorraine Bray (Waterford)
  • Aoife Donohue (Galway)
  • Niamh Kilkenny (Galway)
  • Niamh Mulcahy (Limerick)
  • Niamh Rockett (Waterford)
  • Amy O’Connor (Cork)
  • Noreen Coen (Galway)
  • Ailish O’Reilly (Galway)
  • Beth Carton (Waterford)

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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