herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

New skipper Elaine a true Blue-blood

THE boss wanted a word. Elaine O'Meara (pictured) was all ears. His voice came in stereo sound.

It was a request that came straight from Larry Gogan's Golden Hour.

"How would you like to be the captain of Dublin," asked Denis Murphy. Elaine couldn't answer quickly enough.

The question came before a challenge match against DCU last week. Elaine is still revelling in the glow.

"It's such a huge honour. I am delighted. It's just fantastic," says the new skipper of the Dublin Armada.

Elaine couldn't wait to tell the family. Her Dad, Ger, hurled with distinction for O'Toole's and the Dublin minors.

When injury rang the bell, he devoted his time to coaching the young sides at O'Toole's.

Elaine's brother, Ger junior, graced the Dublin senior hurling jersey for several years, and he's still showing his quality on Blunden Drive -- with big ball and small.

Elaine's sisters, Sharon and Lisa, plus her mother, Joan, get to as many matches as they can.

"The family have been such a wonderful support to me all through the years.

"They were thrilled when I told them I had been appointed the Dublin captain."

Elaine's early fondness for the craft was kindled at St Monica's where she was fortunate to meet another lover of the ash.

"Martin Dunne was my manager. He's a lovely man. He has been such a marvellous ambassador for camogie."

Martin is still a master of the timber as he repairs and makes high quality sticks within a sideline puck of Tolka Park.

Elaine earned a call to the Dublin minors. And in 2005 came the step up to the senior county squad.

She has developed into a tidy, competent, defender. She has marked the best of them. "They are all tough at this level," she smiles as the Blues wind up for business once more.

On Tuesday and Thursday nights, the panel have their strength and conditioning work. And every weekend, there's a challenge match.

Outside of that, the girls, in their own time, also fit in another gym session, plus a ball session, into their weekly schedule.

"We feel we are a bit further down the road than we were at this time last year," remarks Elaine. "Everybody is ready to give it a good lash.



Atmosphere

"The opening National League game against Tipperary is beginning to creep up on us and we are all excited about that. There's a tremendous atmosphere in the camp.

"We have loads of new players this season, and they have brought a fresh lease of life to the whole thing.

"We have had several of the girls who were away training with their college, but we still had very good numbers at training.

"Everybody is 100 per cent committed. We are all looking forward to the campaign ahead and we'd all be thrilled to see Dublin make even more progress this year."

Elaine will prove a genuine Captain Fantastic.

And as ever, she'll leave every last drop of energy out there on the pitch.

The Dublin management felt she had the credentials to make a top-class captain. And by their choice, they are a few points up already.

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