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Carr following in her father's footsteps on glory trail

DOWN camogie captain Fionnuala Carr is certainly her father's daughter.

Ross Carr was fearless -- both as a footballer and county senior manager -- and she appears to have inherited that trait as well as his athleticism.

The woman who will lead Down from centre-back in tomorrow's All-Ireland junior final against Meath had her hand in a cast for almost six weeks this summer and only had it removed around the middle of July.

The damage was done during an Ulster championship game against Derry and she immediately felt the bone moving around and clicking.

However, she got the medics to strap it up and played until the final whistle -- which included extra-time.

"When I went to get it checked the next day there was a broken bone and dislocation, but at the time you never think it's as bad as it is and there's always that bit of adrenalin too," she explains.

Carr (pictured right) is equally possessed of her father's dry wit.

Asked why camogie, not football, became her game she quips: "I did both for a while -- but when the ball left my foot it nearly had a mind of its own!

"Hurling is up in the Ards but camogie is very strong in South Down and there wasn't actually ladies football in our club (Clonduff) until about five or six years ago."

Her brother Aidan plays football with the Down seniors and her younger sister Sarah-Louise (22) is also a star with the county camogie team, who are back in the junior final after losing last year's decider.

"Sarah's the forward, she would have a great eye for goal and can strike off both sides," she says.

"I don't remember anything else other than the GAA. We literally don't talk about anything else in our house. Daddy is involved in our club camogie team now as our trainer and he's always good for advice.

"He's not one of those men that would say a whole big pile, but he would always have a good word here and there and he is very encouraging, he would rarely criticise a player.

"All he really expects is that you work hard and do your best. You probably don't believe me, but he's actually quite mild mannered!" she laughs. "He's not really what he was when he was playing."

Working for Savills in Dublin for the past year means travelling home for training, but she has no complaints.

So, can Down go one further than last year when they beat Meath in the semi-final, but lost to Waterford in the final?

"It's very different, we sort of stumbled into the final last year and when we were there we probably didn't really think we could win it," she said.

"We went 12 points down in the second half and then thought 'sure we have nothing to lose' so we started to have a bit of belief and got it down to a point before time ran out."

Irish Independent