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Clubspotting with Lorraine Bray

2015 signalled a renaissance in Waterford Camogie. They returned to the top flight after emerging victorious against Kildare, and have since held their own against the traditional powerhouses of the Camogie world. One of their main driving forces in their recent uprising, hails from Cappoquin. Picking up an All- Star for her heroic performances at wing back, she cemented her status as one of the top players in the country. We went ClubSpotting with Lorraine Bray to Cappoquin.

1. What are your first memories of your club Cappoquin?

I remember my mother was on the road 24/7 anyway up and down to the pitch, she’d a path worn! There were several times I was left wandering outside the pitch waiting for a lift, as the farm jobs at home were more important! From a young age we use to always train with the boys in the club and I use to be a bit of a ‘tomboy’, so I fitted right in. That definitely toughened us up back then, there were no hiding places!

2. Who were your sporting idols idols growing up?

On the camogie scene I would have to say Trish Jackman was always someone I looked up to she just had it all, such a skilful player who was so invested in the game and didn’t leave a stone unturned. I also got to play beside her for a few years and she really helped me and other young players grow on the camogie scene and was always there to give any advice we needed. I couldn’t go away without saying John Mullane and Brick Walsh who would have been two players I loved to watch such inspiring strong individuals, I just loved their 'never say die' attitude on the field.

3. What makes your club special to you?

I would have played with a lot of the girls underage, and all the way up to senior and it’s great to have those friendships and bonds still. The club is where it all began for me at a young age and they have always been very supportive of me and my county career also, so I will always be grateful for that. Of course, many of the coaches I had within the club definitely helped me develop through the years too. And we have great craic there too which makes it all the more enjoyable! Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be too sensitive at times!

4. What has been the proudest moment of your playing career?

I think one of the proudest moments would probably be winning the Intermediate All Ireland in 2015 and I was player of the match on the same day which was a big highlight for me, and celebrations lasted longer than expected! Getting to walk up those steps in Croker and lift that cup was just amazing and we had bus loads from around the county up to support us, it was a very special moment. College was delayed for a while that year! And I suppose winning a Senior All Star in 2019 is something I would have always dreamed of in my camogie career, and I got to share that moment with family and friends on a wild night in Citywest. My club had a home coming for me the following evening too with many more friends and family, there was a few tears shed that night, it really meant a lot to me and I greatly appreciated the effort they went to.

5. Toughest opponent you have faced?

Anne Dalton I would have to say, she’s such a great reader of the game and constantly on the move. You’d want eyes in the back of your head to keep an eye on her. A Kilkenny stalwart, who had such a fantastic career and got to finish on such a high note. And very well deserved!

6. Best Player you have played with?

Beth Carton is a phenomenal player to play with, she’s a perfectionist and has such a love for the game. You really would be in awe watching her. That hurley is never too far away from her or a pair of shorts! I can’t speak highly enough of her and she’s always up for a bit of craic too!

7. What are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?

I suppose we are in such uncertain times at the minute, but I can’t wait to get back to action on the field again so hopefully that’s sooner rather than later. I’m really looking forward to meeting back up with the club and county girls and making the most of the year ahead and enjoying it along the way. I think the main focus once we are back is to take each game as they come and not to look too far ahead and tackle what’s in front of us. We’ll all be very glad of it once play returns, you really don’t realise how much you will miss something until it’s taken away from you!

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