One blessing that has presented itself from this pandemic in Antrim sporting circles, is the emergence of Caitrin Dobbin to their camogie team. As an incredibly talented Irish dancer, the Loughgiel native rarely had the time to commit to both, and could just about balance playing for her club team. However, as the old saying goes, 'when one door closes, another shall open'. When the opportunity arose for her to join up with the county team last year, it is one she snatched with both hands. She was a shining star on their journey to the intermediate final where they narrowly lost out to Down, but the former Ulster Club Player of the Year is now hungrier than ever for success. This week we went ClubSpotting with Caitrin Dobbin to Loughgiel Shamrocks.
1. What are your first memories of your club Loughgiel Shamrocks?
My first memories are of playing in the All-Ireland Féile na nGael competition when I was only in my first year of Under 12. I was so excited to be getting away with my club and the experience was one I’ll never forget. I am still in contact with the family that I stayed with. I was very fortunate and got to take part in a further two Féiles after that.
2. Who were your sporting idols growing up?
My two hurling idols were Henry Shefflin (Ballyhale & Kilkenny) and Paul (Ding) Gillan (Loughgiel Shamrocks). Henry for his passion, knowledge and skill and Ding for his absolute commitment to the game and incredible work ethic. He practically lived for the sport and played until he was 40 years old. His and his team’s passion and perseverance secured an All-Ireland club win in 2012.
3. What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?
My proudest moment in my career was being selected to play in the All-Ireland club semi-final in my first year at Senior level in 2015. I was only 17 years old and was completely in awe of all the players around me. I was extremely proud that they deemed me ‘good enough’ to be part of the team.
4. Toughest opponent you have faced?
The toughest opponent I have ever faced is undoubtedly my Antrim team mate Chloe Drain (Cuchullains Dunloy). She makes the job of a forward almost impossible as she seems to be practically standing on your tiptoes throughout the entire game. She can intimidate a forward with her sheer presence and is one of the greatest full backs in the game.
5. Best player you have played with?
Definitely my team mate, Lucia McNaughton. Apart from being incredibly skilful, she is such an intelligent player and brings an intensity to the game which can lift the whole team. Her work ethic is inspiring and by the end of the game there won’t be an inch of the field that she hasn’t covered. She is also extremely focused and has a strong calming influence on the rest of the team.
6. Irish Dancing is also a huge part of your life, do you find it hard to balance both?
I love both sports equally and although it can be sometimes difficult to balance both I somehow manage. The ‘Split Season’ was brilliant for me as it gave me adequate time to apply myself fully to both sports and manage my time more easily.
7. What are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?
My obvious dream is to win the Ulster Championship and progress to compete in the All-Ireland series. To win that competition is my ultimate goal in my camogie career.
What is ClubSpot?
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