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Six Of Our Favourite Interviews From The 2022 Club GAA Season

Six Of Our Favourite Interviews From The 2022 Club GAA Season
Rory Cassidy
By Rory Cassidy
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2022 proved to be yet another memorable year in the world of club GAA. Here Balls.ie takes a look back at some of our favourite interviews from the club scene around the country.

Balls.ie looks at some of our best club GAA interviews this year

Ballymacarby win first Munster title in 22 years

It was a season to remember for Michelle Ryan and her beloved club Ballymacarby. The Waterford side who have won 41 consecutive county titles won their first provincial title in 22 years in November.

The side got their hands on the Michael Ryan Cup named after Michelle's father. Michael is a legend of the club and has given years of service to ladies football.

"Is it the case that I stayed playing club football for a Munster championship victory? I absolutely did," Michelle told Balls.ie.


The provincial glory resulted in Ballymacarby reaching the All-Ireland semi-final where eventual champions Kilkerrin-Clonberne of Galway proved to be too strong.

Olympian Deirdre Duke wins Junior B Championship with Kilmacud Crokes

On the same evening that Kilmacud Crokes reached the county senior final, they also claimed the Junior B Championship.

Hockey international Deirdre Duke who played at the Olympics last year in Tokyo was a very recognisable name on the winning team. Duke admits that she dips her toes in and out of football every couple of years and went back to playing for Crokes at the end of the 2021 hockey season.



In the Junior B final against St. Brendan's, Duke won player of the match and scored an impressive 1-1.

"Crokes has been a big part of my life, maybe in the background over the last few years. It's where I started playing sport. I feel a big draw to the club, I feel very much part of it," she told Balls.ie.

She would later feature for the senior team as they reached the All-Ireland semi-final.


Longford Slashers have season to remember

Longford Slashers became the first club from the county to ever win an All-Ireland club title when they were crowned ladies intermediate champions in Croke Park recently.

Manager Conor Clarke and wing back Clare Farrell spoke to Balls.ie in the build-up to the game.

"We've won four in a row in Longford and every year you ask the girls to go back, you look for a bit more off them hunger wise and there's just been improvement all the time. Last year we got to a Leinster final and we learned a lot from losing. The will and love that the girls have for both the club and each other is just amazing."


Farrell commuted up and down to training from Limerick three times a week, where she works as a nutritionist for Munster Rugby.


"The expectation isn't there for me to be back all the time for training and I'm lucky that the girls are sound, and they understand that. I just make sure I get my own work done if I'm not back. I'm very lucky to have such a supportive group around me who understand my situation and don't expect me to be in ten places at the one time."

Pa O'Dwyer on whether Strongman training could help GAA fitness

Irish Strongman Pa O'Dwyer did not hold back when asked whether his training could help radically improve GAA players the length and breadth of the country.

O'Dwyer worked with former Limerick and current Newcastle West player Mike McMahon as the Limerick club reached the Munster football final.

McMahon's unconventional strength and conditioning training with O'Dwyer has had a huge benefit on how he performs on the field.

O'Dwyer hit out at S&C coaches when he spoke to Balls.ie.

"I'll be honest with you in my opinion most of the S&C coaches haven't a clue. That goes for 95% of them. I 've seen them in gyms training GAA lads. They haven't a f*cking clue what they're doing. They should educate themselves with the likes of myself because I know how to make an athlete stronger, more powerful and faster."

Offaly's Brian Carroll helps coach Tipp club to Intermediate success

When Brian Carroll and his Coolderry side failed to reach the knockout stages of the Offaly senior hurling championship this summer, the 39-year-old was able to devote more of his time to coaching.

Carroll became a coach of Lorrha in Tipperary earlier in the year and played his part as they won the county intermediate title and regained their senior status.

Lorrha are managed by Carroll's former Coolderry boss Ken Hogan who guided the Offaly side to the All-Ireland club final in 2012.

Carroll was delighted to have the opportunity to work under Hogan. The offer was one which he felt he could not turn down. 

"I suppose it was the fact that it was Ken and what learning I could do from working with Ken, I just couldn't turn down that opportunity. At some stage I'd like to manage or coach at a high level. Even though I worked under Ken as a player, I suppose this is an opportunity to go in and learn from him and really take on board how he does it."

Ex-Irish rugby star Ciara Griffin starring with Castleisland Desmonds

Ciara Griffin made a surprising decision to retire from international rugby at the end of 2021 aged just 27. Griffin made 41 appearances for Ireland in what was a very successful career.

While she walked away from rugby she certainly hasn't turned her back on team sport. She has now turned to GAA where she stars for Castleisland Desmonds in the Kerry senior football championship.

In 2021, Castleisland reached the All-Ireland Intemediate semi-final as Griffin watched from the stands before deciding to return to the club this year.

"Regardless of whether they were winning or not, I was always going to go back and play football. You'll always go back to your club. That was always in my mind. I didn't know what my role would be in terms of whether I would be playing. The group have been so welcoming, and very patient as well."

A number of Griffin's teammates played on the Kerry side that reached the All-Ireland final this year but Griffin has no plans to step up to that level. Her rugby days are also behind her but she is thoroughly enjoying playing for her club.

SEE ALSO: Quiz: Can You Name These 14 Senior Club Camogie Champions?



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