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Model captain Karen sees Blue tide rising

WEXFORD are back in the All-Ireland senior final. It's on Sunday week. They are going for three-in-a-row.

They beat Dublin on the way. It was by a handsome margin, but the Slaney skipper Karen Atkinson can see the Blue tide rising.

Dublin made the last eight this term. And Karen could spot the potential as far back as the semi-final of the Leinster Championship.

"Dublin have improved. They are strong and fit.

"It is good for the sport to see them coming on so well," she says.

She salutes another Dub, the Camogie President, Aileen Lawlor.

"She has done brilliant work in promoting the game. Hopefully we can keep on increasing the attendances.

"We get good support on the big days, the league finals and the All-Ireland finals, etc, but we'd love to see more spectators at our regular games in the league and the championship."

Katie Taylor would add a few bob to the gate -- any gate.

Inspiration

"Yes, she's an inspiration. She is a very modest girl. Adam Nolan is from our club, Oulart the Ballagh and we held a reception for him before the Olympics. Katie and her dad, Peter, came down and it was a lovely occasion."

Wexford will have to be on their toes if they are to lift the O'Duffy once again. Cork, as ever, will set a stiff exam paper.

"We had a disappointing finish to the league when Cork beat us, but we quickly got back down to it and refocused our minds on the championship. I think the new format freshened things up this season. The structure to decide the quarter-finals and semi-finals created extra interest.

"The standards have risen tremendously. The skill levels, physicality, and mentality -- everything is on the up. That can only be good for the sport. It will help us get more recognition and increase the profile."

In the summer, Karen was in Croke Park watching Westlife. Now she'll return with the boots on.


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