Davy Fitz, sailing under Lee, made headlines. One of the biggest names in Irish sport was acquired by the Cork Senior Camogee team.
He gave a warm welcome. “We were happy,” says Ashling Thompson. “Someone like Davy, who has a bouncy background, and who has all the experience in the world.”
But there was a price to pay, as Ashling quipped: “Our pre-season was grueling! But it was worth it because we are now in the All-Ireland final. ,
And besides making sure that Cork is Camogee’s fittest family, it’s Dewey’s people skills that has impressed.
“It’s incredible to see a squad hugging, bringing them together and making them fight for each other.”
He has also brought humour. Cork manager, Matthew Twomey, was doing a post-match interview after the semi-final win over Waterford, when he felt a drop of water running down his back.
The culprit – smiling Davy!
It was Cork Boss who brought Davy. There is no worry in the world that Claire Champion will become the leading voice.
“It’s very easy to move on with Matthew,” Ashling says. “Obviously, Davy has a great personality, but Matthew is so calm and relaxed that it’s all too easy for him to go to jail.
“The rest of the management is the same. There are a lot of clowns out there. We are serious when we are serious, but it is also very friendly. Dewey’s drive permeates throughout management, and all the different personalities complement each other. ,
Ashling’s job also suits his game. He is a personal trainer. “It complements Camogee.”
Tomorrow’s Glenn Dimples All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final at Croke Park will require quick feet and fast hands.
Cork and Kilkenny are sure to rock and roll. She is expecting a huge audience.
“We have missed the crowd in recent years. I think the quality of the two semi-finals will add to the appeal.
“He really demonstrated the game. Kilkenny against Galway and himself and Waterford. They were incredible matches. Same was the case for the final last year.
“Camogee has really stepped up in a way that I would say no one expected. But as much effort is put in as you see at GAA, and it’s nice to see that on display on the big day.
“If the game is allowed to go on, you will see the talent there. I have no doubt about it. And hopefully we will see the same tomorrow.
“Ray Kelly did a great job in the semifinals. He let the game flow. When the referees are happy to blow the whistle, it just doesn’t bring out the best.
“Granted, you’re always going to have a say in certain decisions. But you want to see the best of both teams. Skill, speed and everything that goes with it.
“Now camouflage has more materiality. The sport has evolved so much over the years. I think people are shocked……. Even in the case of last year’s finals, people are telling me Were that they couldn’t outgrow that quality, and the athletes who are the players.
“You’re not going to see that if you don’t let the game flow. I think if we get this right in the game, it will be a big help in terms of promoting the sport.”
Cork and Kilkenny is a fixture that is always full of promise.
“It’s taken me a long time to know what to expect from Kilkenny. No matter what obstacles they face, you’ll always get the same level of effort, the same level of struggle.
“We bring out the best in each other. I have a lot of respect for him as a team. I’ve played them more times than I can tell. It’s definitely going to be a wonderful day.”
After lifting her two-match suspension on the morning of the All-Ireland semi-finals, Ashling feels a sense of gratitude.
“I am very fortunate to have got a chance to play in the All-Ireland final.
“It was a long three weeks with the appeals process. It was tough getting up at 6 a.m. and arriving at the Croke Park Hotel at 10.30 a.m. for a hearing and then going to the All-Ireland semi-finals a few hours later and playing.
“But I don’t like to make excuses. I put myself in that position. I’ve never been in that position before as a player. And that’s something I don’t want to see myself in the future. It’s done And now the dust is gathering. And we can move on.”
His introduction from the bench proved crucial in the semi-final against Waterford. Corks were in trouble.
“One thing I have learned as a player is not to focus on the result. I never pay attention to the scoreboard because it’s something you can’t control. I like to keep things I can’t control with my head.
“Coming up against Waterford my focus was just to get there, settle the ship and provide a little bit of back-up.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice in the first 20 minutes, but we came back from a five-point deficit in the second half to win five. It says a lot about our character and the depth in the team.
“We know we have more in the tank, and we will need to show that now to go over the line. It has been 2018 since we were the last All-Ireland champions.
“But you learn a lot from your defeat. The main thing was to go back to the finals this year. But unless we’re insisting on getting results at Croke Park, giving it 100%, there’s no point in being there.