On Sunday next a Kilcar man will manage Galway and Connacht camogie champions, Ardrahan, as they play in the All-Ireland club semi-final
Michael Carr, formerly from Largymore, Kilcar, is in charge of the Galway side and his daughter, Megan, is one of a number of talented young players on the team.
Carr, from a fairly prolific footballing family, left for London in the late 1980s and he was in for a culture shock when he returned to Ireland thirteen years ago to live in Ardrahan.
When Michael was growing up, there were no signs of any camans, but then there are those who would say that the Kilcar defence of the time were dangerous enough without arming them with hurleys.
Michael was a talented corner-back but as he says himself, “it wasn’t easy to make the first team in Kilcar at the time.”
When he landed in London, it was inevitable that he would team up with Tir Chonaill Gaels, and for the next 14 years, he was a very successful playing member of the Gaels, winning seven London Senior Championships.
Michael went on to play against some of the top forwards in the game as he was usually at corner back for the Gaels.
“We would have played the top teams like Lavey twice; Crossmaglen Rangers twice, Nemo Rangers and Castlebar Mitchels,” said Michael.
On returning to live in Galway, there was something of a sea change for the Kilcar man as he found out that football was not the No.. 1 sport in South Galway.
But because of the involvement of his daughter, Megan, Michael took up the challenge to earn his coaching badges at his new sport.
Daughter, Megan, who is a Galway county minor, was showing plenty of promise and as he puts himself, “wile interest in the game, being on the pitch as often as she can.
“This is a big area for camogie and Megan captained her school (Seamount College, Kinvara) to an All-Ireland title.”
Megan, who plays at midfield, is doing her Leaving Certificate this year, but that has not diminished her commitment to the club.
Ardrahan, Michael points out, is a relatively new club being only formed some 16/17 years ago. There was always a huge camogie interest but players from the area played with neighbouring clubs.
But they are now established, having won the Galway Intermediate title two years ago and then taking the senior title last year.
“The Intermediate side were beaten in the All-Ireland club final by Eoghan Ruadh (Derry) two years ago,” said Michael, who points to the upsurge in the club’s fortunes has been laid with a good underage structure.
“We have won three in-a-row at U-16 level and then we won the minor title last year, which really means that we have won four in-a-row,” said Michael, who is self-employed installing soffit, fascia and guttering.
Megan has been involved in all of that and she is one of four minors now on the senior team, who face their biggest challenge yet on Sunday when they take on Leinster champions, Mullinavat of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.
“We were at the Leinster final and Mullinavat were not the favourites to win that game. They were good in the Leinster final but we would not be afraid of them,” said Michael.
There will be hopes that there could be a football star in the Carr family also as Michael and his wife Pauline have a son, also named Michael, aged 14.