LIMERICK camogie midfielder Deirdre Fitzpatrick is one of seven survivors from the panel that won the 2007 All-Ireland Senior B title.
But alas, Limerick weren’t in a position to build on the success of that Ciaran Carey managed side.
This time round Fitzpatrick believes that Limerick is ready for the step-up to the senior ranks, that a win in Sunday’s All-Ireland intermediate final would guarantee.
“This year had a different feel - it was all positive,” recalled Fitzpatrick, who has played for the last decade.
“It’s very disappointing I suppose - when you get to the later years of playing sport every moment counts and every year counts. I wasn’t actually playing last year because I had other commitments with work but in the years before you still spent six or seven months training and you often wondered what it was for,” she said of the failure to sustain a senior presence after the last All-Ireland win of ‘07.
“The excitement is almost building since November,” he explained of this campaign.
“We started from day one and Joe had a vision and it was a matter of us believing that and going with it and getting behind it - the training started and we had strength and conditioning and diet and everything started to come together. There was a serious build-up from November on and I feel we are in a good position now,” said the Killeedy woman.
“The momentum this year was consistent and everyone got on board and the young girls came in and brought a freshness.”
The first goal of the year was accomplished with league success and then the younger members of the panel won the Munster junior crown.
On top of that were various challenge games against senior opposition.
“I think we have built up a strength of character as well throughout the year and now we are really looking forward to it.”
She added: “I am just looking forward to getting to Croke Park for the first time - I have played in an All-Ireland before but never been in Croke Park.”
“I have been playing camogie since I was eight and you always dream of getting to Croke Park - I just feel this year it was always within touch.”
“This year we have had a tougher journey - we started out well but then had to win against Waterford,” he said of the group stages.
While describing playing in Croke Park as “surreal”, Fitzpatrick is anxious for all to remain focused.
“It’s just another game and we will have to take it minute by minute. It’s just another pitch with goalposts.”