Limerick camogie manager Paul Sexton
LIMERICK begin their Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship campaign this Saturday.
The Paul Sexton managed Limerick will have three group games but Saturday against Westmeath will be their only home fixture – in Bruff at 3pm.
Limerick are in Group Two of the championship along with Kilkenny, Waterford and Westmeath, who will be playing their first ever senior championship game on Saturday after promotion last season.
Limerick are back in action on Sunday October 25, away to Waterford and the group stages will be completed on Sunday November 8, away to 2019 All-Ireland finalists Kilkenny.
Last year Limerick ended a 15 year wait to reach the knockout stages.
Two teams will advance from Limerick's group - the top team to the semi finals and the second placed side into the quarter finals. The senior quarter finals are set for November 14-15.
But Limerick preparations have been hindered in recent weeks – Sexton and his management have seen big changes to their panel, the availability of dual players and facilities all negatives.
And, ahead of the round one game, both Sophie O’Callaghan and Mairead Ryan are injury concerns.
Games against Clare and Killeedy ahead of their Munster club championship campaign, have helped Limerick prepare for Saturday’s tie with 2019 intermediate champions Westmeath.
”You would love six to eight weeks done before you go into championship but we will have a full crew for just over a week,” explained Paul Sexton, who leads Limerick into his first championship campaign.
Back in the Spring, Limerick lost to Tipperary and Galway in the league but beat Dublin in their final game.
”The club championship was a very positive thing for the girls – they were happy to be home and training away with their friends that they didn’t done in a long time and able to concentrate on club only. They came back in good spirits,” said Sexton of his panel of 26, which is jointly captained by Caoimhe Costello and Muireann Creamer.
“We have six or seven real new faces that haven’t been in with us before and we haven’t had time to gel together yet with no team bonding.”
He added: “We will go in with a clear mind and the girls are focusing on just this game and hope that they can overcome everything that was put in front of them”.
What of the big personnel changes in his panel since the league?
“There are different reasons for everybody,” outlined the manager.
What of Westmeath?
”They are in a good place after coming up from intermediate. They will be out to prove a point and we just need to be more clever than them on Saturday and see how we get on,” said Sexton of Westmeath.
”They appear very physical and very fast up front – they have experience at centre back and full back. We would hope that we have enough to get over the line on Saturday and then build for the Waterford game. The girls will be just focused on hurling come Saturday,” said Sexton.