New U18 level restores faith
DUBLIN camogie's coming of age has cheered up the capital.
The new Under-18 League has seen the inbox overflow with approval.
For years, the desire was there to introduce the U18 structure.
Up to now the train stopped at the U16s. Some players never boarded again.
That was the biggest loss of all. Girls gone from the sport completely.
"It's a marvellous development, and certainly worth a try," declares Dublin chairperson Marie O'Brien.
"There was a gap there. You'd have players who finished up at U16 level not quite ready for the adult grade.
"I think there are a lot of under-17 players out there that could now be encouraged back into camogie.
"And the extra couple of years at underage level could really help young players develop," she says.
"For a start, it will make the transition to the adult grade easier, and that has to be a good thing.
"Clubs are delighted with it. It will be up and running shortly, and everybody is looking forward to seeing how things go.
Marie is also happy with the progress of the Dublin U16 and U14 sides.
"It's great to see them coming on so well. I feel it all goes back to the work of the development squads," she adds.
"It's the hours and hours that have been put in there that are now being seen in the results.
"All the mentors have been so dedicated. And for the young players there is nothing like a win to increase the confidence."
So many times Dublin have lost out to the likes of Kilkenny and Wexford.
"But now to beat them is so encouraging," says Marie.
"It will help the players to keep at it, and that can only be good for Dublin camogie in the long run."