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Aoife McGrath: 'It is really special'
By Cian OConnell
Important matches continue to arrive thick and fast from Drom-Inch. Aoife McGrath is relishing the hectic schedule, an AIB All-Ireland Club Camogie semi-final against Loughgiel Shamrocks on Saturday is next on the agenda.
As Christmas edges closer McGrath is fully aware of the relevance attached to these type of high stakes encounters for Pat Ryans outfit.
Around these parts GAA is so important, McGrath says. We are all sporting mad, we love the buzz going training, being part of a group like this. We are always just pushing on to be the best we can be.
Good times don't last forever, we know that. We are just trying to make the most of what we have while we have it. We have a really good management team in place - Pat, Kevin, Paul, they leave no stone unturned. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get the best out of the team.
We have a quality coach in Matthew McGrath, he has really pushed us over the last couple of years to levels we probably didn't know were in ourselves. Girls are really buying into the thing and everyone is just striving to be as successful as we can be.
Having stitched four Tipperary senior titles in a row together these are encouraging times for Drom-Inch, who recently captured the Munster crown too.
Staying relevant is a challenge, but Drom-Inch have found a way. We have won four county finals in a row, before that we had actually lost five out of the previous seven, McGrath reflects.
So there is probably a bit of hurt from those years involved. I think we have a really good quality group of players, we have great experience in the likes Mairead Eviston, Niamh Treacy. Then you have the younger girls the likes of Caroline Shanahan, Katie O'Dwyer, who bring huge energy to the thing.
Eimear Kelly, Clare, and Aoife McGrath, Tipperary, in action during the Munster Senior Camogie Championship in May.
The manner in which the Drom-Inch panel has evolved is a source of optimism according to McGrath.
I think that we have a really good bunch of players, I think the depth in our squad this year has been really positive for us, she adds. Earlier in the year we were down a few girls - a couple of girls had babies and we had a couple of injuries.
"It allowed Aine Greed, Caroline Shanahan, Niamh Ryan a chance to show off at senior level. I think that they haven't looked out of place. The impact from our bench all year has been really phenomenal. If you can bring on the likes of Joanne Ryan, Michelle Shortt, when the games are in the melting pot, it is a huge addition.
Then you have the likes of a young girl Katie O'Dwyer coming on scoring three points in a Munster final. It is probably the difference. That is massive. I think there is great strength in depth in the panel of players we have.
McGrath has starred for Tipperary and Drom-Inch, but she highlights that there is something particularly sweet about a highly important club tussle.
I think the club championships are probably the pinnacle of the GAA and Camogie calendars, McGrath says.
Obviously playing with Tipp is a huge honour and privilege, but there is something really, really special about playing with your club in such important games.
It is really special, you are going out with your families and friends, people you have grown up playing alongside. So it is really special and we are really looking forward to Saturday.