ANOTHER busy season lies in wait for Evelyn Crowley, on and off the field.
One of the more experienced players on the Newcestown camogie team that will compete in the senior B ranks in Cork this year, Evelyn is also the chairperson of Newcestown Camogie Club.
Busy times at the helm, but it’s a dual role she enjoys.
‘I was living in Kildare for a bit, I came home last year and at the AGM they were looking for a chairperson, I was free so I took up the role,’ she said, now into her second year as chairperson.
Two weeks ago she spoke at the Newcestown Camogie and GAA Celebratory Dinner Dance held in the Munster Arms Hotel, an event that toasted the many successes of the club in 2017.
There was the league and championship double for the intermediate team – with Evelyn involved – and they also qualified for the club’s first-ever Munster final. The Newcestown minors also won a West Cork and league double, so good times for camogie in Newcestown.
Underage camogie is strong, too, the U8s, U10s and U12s all have good numbers while the U14s won the county Féile last season and went on to represent Cork in the national Féile.
On top of all that, Newcestown camogie was also represented at county level – Grace Ryan, Orla Barrett and Aoibhe Sheehan played U14 for Cork in 2017, Ciara O’Sullivan was with the U16s, while Maeve Lynch was involved with the minors and intermediates.
‘The GAA is very important here in Newcestown,’ Evelyn explains.
‘All the kids in Newcestown school play GAA and it starts there.
‘There is great support from teachers in the school and parents as well, and with the club we have great help from the trainers and parents, and there’s so much interest and goodwill towards the various teams and the club.’
A teacher at Sunday’s Well Girls’ NS, juggling being a player and chairperson is a labour of love for Evelyn whose cousins, Colette and Rose Desmond are key members of the senior B team, while she is a sister to John Crowley who captained the Newcestown hurlers to Cork PIHC glory a few seasons back. On top of that, she is a niece of former All-Star Cork hurler Tim Crowley so Newcestown GAA is very much a part of who she is.
‘Winning the county intermediate title – against Enniskeane in the final – last year is a huge boost to the club,’ she explains.
‘We were senior B a few years ago but it didn’t go well.
‘It was hard to going out every year and losing so we took the decision to drop down to junior and build the club up again.
‘Three years ago we won the junior title and then it took us two years to win the intermediate so it’s fantastic to be back up to senior B. It was a tough decision to drop down but we made the right call. It has worked out just as we hoped and we are back now a better team and a stronger club.’
Evelyn considers herself part of the more experienced brigade on the team, along with Rose and Colette Desmond, Suzanne Deasy, Therese McCarthy, Hilda Kenneally and Colleen Twomey.
‘We’ve plenty of experience anyway,’ she laughs ahead of the start of a new season – and a crack off senior B. Last year’s management team of Conor Condon, Sean Twomey, John Cronin, Lisa O’Sullivan and Finbarr O’Callaghan has remained on, and training starts this weekend.
‘We want to drive it on again and get as far as we can in all competitions – and if the club is half as successful as last year, it will be another great season,’ said Evelyn, as Newcestown camogie looks to build on its momentum from 2017.