Kate Nolan has seen the good days and bad day’s in Carlow Camogie, she talks to KCLR’s Scoreline about the Leinster Final defeat on Saturday and Carlow’s prospects in this year’s All-Ireland series.
At the start of 2023, new manager Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere announced Myshall’s Kate Nolan as Carlow’s new captain for 2023. Carlow had a great league campaign this year which saw the Barrowisders win the Division 3A title with a victory over Armagh. This was also followed up with defeat in the Leinster Intermediate Final last weekend, it was the first time since 2019 that Carlow had contested the final. They were paired against neighbors Kilkenny, the first half went well for the Carlow team as they really frustrated Kilkenny but ultimately Kilkenny’s experience would see Kate and her team lose by eleven points. She chatted to KCLR scoreline 24 hours after the final and she gave her thoughts on the game.
“Obviously it didn’t go to plan for us yesterday, Kilkenny is a very strong side, I felt we had the capability of being a bit stronger it just didn’t go our way unfortunately, any day you lose is a day to learn and there are loads to learn, there will be lots of analysis done and we can see where we can improve for the All-Ireland championship. It’s not all doom and gloom it will hopefully stand to us and we can change a few things in the future and we can give the All-Ireland a good go”
“I think half time kinda came at a bad time for us, we were getting going and building momentum and a natural stop at half time so you kind of didn’t come out the traps too hard in the second half so next time we make sure that we don’t allow half time to dampen how good were going and to make sure we come out of the traps as hard as we did in the first half after half time”
“I had said to the girls if we could win the league it would be a turning point for Carlow Camogie, we haven’t had silverware in the past couple of years, so it’s nice to reap the rewards for hard work that you’ve done so winning the league for us is massive and obviously for me, it was a real honor to captain the team, it’s nice to show the girls that when you work hard that there can be positive consequences, cause Carlow Camogie for the last couple of years, wasn’t that it was in a bad place just it wasn’t going to plan and we’ve had a good year so far”
“I think Carlow is seen as a weaker or a smaller County when it comes to Camogie and as a young Camogie player in Carlow, the thought or the idea of playing in Croke Park or winning national league titles, young girls think it’s a far cry so when you see girls that are down in your club and that are training you and playing in Croke Park is massive and it shows the younger players that you can be successful and that no matter what club or county you’re from and you want to be successful and you want to make a difference that you’ll be able to do it”
Kilkenny native Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere took over as manager this year and its proved to be a very successful appointment so far and Nolan has heaped praise on the manager.
“From the very first phone call, I had from him [Cleere] it was very positive, he’s really believed in us this year, he’s done a great job in getting girls in, we have most of the strong girls in the county in on the county panel at the moment, he has such a good repour with the girls anyone that’s dropped is still wanting to come back and make their mark and keep girls interested, I think he’s re-instilled that belief in us that Carlow Camogie that when we put our shoulder to the wheel that we can make a difference, that we can win, it’s just pure positivity and just keeping the girls happy and stuff, he’s been a good addition to Carlow this year”
“I’m loving it, winning the division three league was one of the best days in a Carlow jersey for me, any day you get to put on a Carlow Jersey and go out and win silverware is just fantastic, there’s a great vibe in the team when we go training there’s a good bond and stuff, yeah I’m really enjoying it and I love playing for Carlow and I love captaining my county. It was fantastic, I’ve been knocking around Carlow Camogie for a while, I think this is my eleventh year involved, I captained the county once and due to Covid, the league was cut short. It’s my first year captaining the county and it’s only our second time ever to be lifting the Division 3 league and Im honored and privileged that I’m lucky enough to say I’m one of those captains, it’s massive for me”
“If you’re looking at our group, we would be positive that we would come out of our group I think it’s the top two that come out of the group to go through. I suppose it’s a match-by-match basis and you never take anything for granted but yeah things are good we are stronger as a team and there is a want and the girls know that we can be competitive. So everyone’s dream when your starting the All-Ireland championship is to play in the final in Croke Park and win it. We have to take it step by step, we have Antrim up first up in Antrim which will be tough but we feel we’re capable of it and We’ll give it a good go”