Monday 5 December 2016

Déise girls fired up to stay in top tier - Whyte

Tom Rooney

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

Waterford's Claire Whyte celebrates after last year's All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Final Photo: Sportsfile
Waterford's Claire Whyte celebrates after last year's All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Final Photo: Sportsfile

After an impressive run of recent success, Waterford are now dining at camogie's top table which, according to skipper Claire Whyte, is exactly where they belong.

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Waterford may have clinched the All-Ireland intermediate title and won promotion to Division 1 of the National League in 2015, but they've had scant time to revel in their triumphs. As a result of this, they ascended to a higher plane of competition.

The championship tilt means they will be competing at the senior level this summer but, before that, there's the undertaking of the top-fight league game to consider.

Whyte says that the panel got together just before last winter and laid out some home truths as to what will be expected of all parties if 2016 is to continue in the same vein as its predecessor.

"Last year is definitely hard to top, getting to the National League Division1 and being All-Ireland champions," she said at yesterday's league launch.

"We got together in October last year and we all sat down and put everything on the table, and said it's going take a very big commitment to up our game.

"Division 1 and senior camogie is a step up from what we've been playing, because we were intermediate and then junior for a lot of years. It's going to be hard, buy everyone is fully committed to giving the league a good go."

Waterford have little leeway to get assimilated to quality of the game among the elite as they face Kilkenny in their opening league tie. For Whyte, it's all about managing one task at a time. As for the future, she's confident in the next crop coming through in Waterford and their ability to drive the county on as a power in the senior game.

"First up we have Kilkenny, which is by no means going to be an easy task, with them being All-Ireland semi-finalists last year and league champions in 2014. We're just going to take each game as it comes and are looking forward to being senior.

"It will be a step up in pace and skill but it's great to have that chance to be in Division 1 before going on to senior.

"We want to compete at this level and build a very strong and good name for senior camogie in Waterford."

Irish Independent

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