WATERFORD CAPTAIN NIAMH Rockett says the Déise are keen to focus on their camogie after last week’s fixture controversy.

Waterford captain Niamh Rockett.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Munster side released a damning statement ahead of their All-Ireland senior championship clash which was scheduled for last Sunday to accommodate Cork’s dual players.

Waterford claimed in a lengthy statement via Sportstalk.ie that the Camogie Association changed the date of the fixture from Saturday to Sunday, and that they were given five days’ notice about the match (as per the rulebook).

The switch obviously affected players on their own panel with regards work, and one in particular who was to commute from England to play.

The42 reported on Friday that the Camogie Association were “continuing to liaise with Waterford county board,” and Déise captain Rockett confirmed that yesterday.

“The girls were just a bit disappointed with the five-day turnaround,” she explained.

“The Camogie Association were well within their rights… it was all in the rules. I suppose you don’t really look at these rules until it effects you. 

“We had to do a five-day turnaround, some girls were working part-time, Trish Jackman was commuting. But sure look, these things happen.

“You can only control what’s in your own camp and we just wanted to control [the game]. We were leading at half-time but Cork kind of pulled away from us in the second half in bad, bad conditions. We’re just delighted to qualify for the quarter-final.

“We’re co-operating with the Camogie [Association] now on the situation at hand.”

Rockett added that the decision to release a statement was difficult, and one that was not taken lightly:

“It was a really, really tough decision that went down. It wasn’t completely unanimous. We had to go to secret ballot and like anything, make sure that everyone had their own voice and their own say in it. 

The Camogie Association calls on supporters to ‘Go Together’ as they aim to break 25,000 All-Ireland finals attendance.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We’re just looking to co-operate with the Camogie Association. We don’t want to burn bridges. As you see there today, the lads are brilliant. We hope that one day we’re all going to sit down when the championship is over.”

In the statement, Waterford revealed that they wrote to the National Camogie Association and requested a meeting “to ensure these situations do not arise again and action is taken”. The plan now is that when their season winds up, that will go ahead.

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“The same thing in our statement is what we wrote to the Camogie Association,” Rockett continued.

“There was nothing to hide there. We just want to improve camogie as a whole and [ensure] that going forward, the five-day turnaround won’t happen for anyone again. Even the six weeks in-a-row of championship. 

“Even talking to the Women’s GPA and the Camogie Association, they have plenty of ideas going forward of what we can do. It’d brilliant if we can all work together to improve the game.”

In the top-of-the table clash, Paudie Murray’s Rebels secured a direct route to the last four after winning, while Waterford now face Galway in a Semple Stadium quarter-final next weekend.

Ever since releasing the statement, that entire situation has been to the back of the mind and the entire focus is on on-the-field matters going forward.

“The girls just forgot about it and put their heads down,” the PE teacher insisted. “The minute that the statement was released, that was it. We didn’t want to know.

“We were just completely zoned in on Cork. We just wanted to concentrate on camogie. That’s all we want to do for the next two weeks and hopefully further on from that. 

Rockett in action last year.

Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Maybe at the end of the year, we’ll review it and look back. But that’s all we want to do; play camogie. There’s no talk of it in the camp at the moment at all.”

After reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final for the first time ever last year, Rockett is hoping her side can go one step further this time around and make more history.

“To get to the knockout stage is brilliant,” she concluded. “It was a really tough group with six excellent teams in it. To get out of any knockout stage, beating Dublin, Clare and Meath is always going to be tough.

“It’s good to get back to where we were last year. Each game we improved as the campaign went on and we’re really tuned in for the next two weeks against Galway.

“Last year was brilliant but we want to go a step further. There’s no point in staying at the same thing, we want to keep pushing on.”

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