CUALA man Shane O’Brien described his first formal game as Dublin camogie manager as “a great outing”, with nigh on 50 players getting a run out at the AIG Camogie Dubs Stars last Sunday in Coolock.
The Dub Stars – the pick of the players from the club championship in 2014 – edged the tie against the Dublin senior camogie panel 2-10 to 1-11 with a late flurry of scores and Aisling Maher’s goal under-pinning a five-point swing in the final five minutes.
For O’Brien, the hard-fought nature of the tie offered a huge amount of information about the panel he took on recently, with the group back in training since December 1.
“There was a great intensity to the game and they all brought a great attitude to it at this time of year,” he told GazetteSport.
A particular positive was the debut of Sarah O’Donovan – an All-Ireland winner who played with Cork up until 2012 – and Limerick native Rose Collins who have both linked up with Dublin for the 2015 campaign.
“We were looking particularly at the hooking and blocking stats, O’Brien said. “Two girls stood out on that front; Sarah O’Donovan who is new to the panel, who was immense today, along with Laura Twomey at wing back. They put in a huge amount of work.
“Sarah and Rose were approached in the middle of November after moving to Dublin and they were mad keen to come on board and we are delighted to get them in. They have an immense amount of experience; I think they marked each other in an All-Ireland semi-final a number of years ago so they know each other well. They have gelled well with the group.”
Another addition to the set-up for 2015 is Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe who takes on an ambassadorial role with the team, dropping in when commitments allow to provide advice and coaching tips.
“He’s not going to be with us full-time but he will come in to the odd training session and team meetings.
“He’s already met us once. His role and advice will be invaluable to the girls; he’s one of the top players in the country so we are delighted to have him on board.”
His side is now preparing full throttle for their national league opener on February 22 when the side host Derry at home.