2021 has started off much the same as 2020 ended for Kilkenny forward Denise Gaule.
Last December, the Windgap star scored 1-6 including a late penalty against Galway to help bring the O’Duffy Cup back to Kilkenny for the first time since 2016. Fast forward a little over two months and she has claimed her second Player of the Year award along with yet another All Star.
Gaule, who was one of six Kilkenny players to pick up an All Star on Saturday night, told KCLR’s Sunday Scoreline that while all of Kilkenny’s All-Ireland winning team were worthy of an All Star, it is the All-Ireland medal that counts for a lot more.
“It’s brilliant to get the six All Stars. It’s disappointing though in the sense that all fifteen players could have got it, but the main thing is that we picked up the All-Ireland medal,” said Gaule.
One of Kilkenny’s All Star recipients was the now retired Anne Dalton. Gaule heaped praise on the three-time All-Ireland winner, saying that she will be missed amongst the squad.
“I was thrilled for Anne to get the All Star.
“She’s been our leader. What she has done for Kilkenny Camogie is incredible and we have a massive gap to fill in her absence.”
Gaule showed nerves of steel when she stepped up in the All-Ireland final to dispatch a late penalty and give Kilkenny an insurmountable lead. Many would have put the ball over the bar to give their side a one-point lead. However, Gaule was never in doubt about what she was going to do with such an opportunity.
“I said to myself ‘you don’t often get the chance to win the All-Ireland for your county,’ so I just went for it. It was great that it went in.”
The Windgap sharp-shooter also outlined the targets for this year, reiterating Kilkenny s stance last year that getting to the final itself is the main objective.
She said: “The main goal is to get back to the final and try to rebuild and get the league started.”