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‘Any time you can get camogie highlighted on the big stage is a huge benefit to every player’

Kilkenny star Collette Dormer believes that pairing camogie games alongside senior hurling clashes can help bring on the sport.

Collette Dormer at the launch of the 2018 All-Ireland championship.
Collette Dormer at the launch of the 2018 All-Ireland championship.
Image: INPHO

FORMER ALL-STAR and Kilkenny defender Collette Dormer has backed the idea of holding double-headers with their male counterparts, describing the added exposure as a ‘huge benefit’ to the sport.

The corner-back is in her 12th season at the highest level and has played in several games in recent years that have served as curtain-raisers for the Kilkenny hurling side.

Dormer and Kilkenny come into this year’s Championship off the back of an impressive league campaign that saw the Cats claim a third league crown in as many years after a 0-15 to 1-11 win over Cork in Nowlan Park in the April final.

Dormer is also ready to put the All-Ireland disappointment behind her.  A late Julia White point saw Cork take the O’Duffy Cup from the Cats back in September.

Speaking at the launch of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Camogie Championships, Dormer feels that pairing camogie games alongside hurling can help expose the sport to a larger audience.

“I’d be for that. Any time you can get camogie highlighted on the big stage is a huge benefit to every camogie player because the younger generation is looking at players playing camogie,” she says. “More people can actually watch the game and see how good of a sport it is.

“It’s a lot faster, it’s a lot more free-flowing and the ball is moved a lot faster now. The sport itself has just improved hugely in the last few years.

“We’ve been lucky enough that we’ve had a good few double-headers with the (senior men’s) hurling. The league final there and last year we had I think the league final and the All-Ireland semi-finals in the last couple of years.

“Even when you look back at it two years ago, you had the Kilkenny crowd. (The league hurling) semi-final was after our (league) semi-final and every girl can say: the crowd got in and were behind us for the last 20 minutes,”

“It would drive the girls on,” Dormer said.

Dormer feels that there is an added desire amongst her team-mates this year to reclaim their 2016 All-Ireland crown, preparation has gone to plan and she looks to end the year on the right note.

“Last year, it was a huge hurt but there’s no more hunger (than usual). You go out with the same hunger every year. There’s probably a bit more bite to hopefully get back to Croke Park and get back to the first weekend in September.

“When you come back from defeat like last year in September, you kind of come back with motivation and you do want your year to end like it did last year,” she said.

“The team is preparing really well now and we’re training hard. We just finished up the Leinster championship there on Saturday. We had a few tough matches in that championship that prepared us nicely leading into the championship.

Kilkenny open their championship campaign with a trip to Limerick on 9 June.

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