Mullan not intimidated by quick final turnaround

By Shaun Casey

ONE week is a tough turnaround to prepare for an All-Ireland final, but Katie Mullan believes the tightknit nature of the Eoghan Rua team – along with the experience within the group – will help with preparations ahead of their game with Clanmaurice.

“We played our Ulster quarter-final, semi-final and final three weeks in a row in January, so we’ve had that experience of going game Sunday, game Sunday, game Sunday, where we had to perform in all three, so I think that experience will really stand to us over this week. I think we’ve been now training together through the winter, in the cold and the frost and the rain and the wind, that’s it’s very much brought us closer together almost like in a bubble environment.

“It’s been easy to keep above the noise and the excitement on the outside and just really keep focused on our own job and on our own role. I think it’s happened quite naturally for us, which is nice.”

There’s been a great buzz surrounding the club since Saturday’s victory over Athleague according to Mullan, who is also captain of the Irish Hockey team.

“There’s a real buzz. Our last All-Ireland final was 12 years ago and a lot of the same players (remain), some with young children and all sorts running around now.

“It’s just a real good buzz around the club as a whole and especially I think after the last couple of years and maybe the club feeling a bit separated because of Covid and everything, it’s been a really nice way to bring everyone back together, especially the supporters.

“There are obviously the young, inexperienced players who are on such a really nice journey, who are experiencing it for the first time. Then there are the older players that were in Croke Park back in 2012, 2013.

“They’re trying to just share their experience with the younger players to try and bring them up to speed to how an All-Ireland final feels. It’s a really nice combination of the old and the young.”

The Derry champions overcame Athleague of Roscommon on Saturday to set up a final day with Kerry’s Clanmaurice, a team they have no in-depth knowledge of, in Drogheda on Saturday.

“I think the only knowledge we have of them is them having played some of the teams that we played in our campaign so far.”

“I think very much, it’s an unknown for us and potentially for them as well, which I think brings a whole level of excitement with it and mainly us focusing on our own performance and what we can do on Saturday to perform at the level we want to. Which has been really nice for us having that perspective going into the game.”



FINAL FEVER….Eoghan Rua’s Katie Mullan and Sara Murphy of Clanmaurice ahead of their All-Ireland Junior final

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