“It really is all about the panel” | Limerick captain Ambrose stresses importance of strength in depth

Ambrose is one of just four remaining players from the victorious 2018 side, and speaking ahead of the game, she highlighted the “brilliant” mood in the camp lately.

Limerick have one of their biggest games in quite some time this weekend, as they travel to Croke Park to take on Down in the LGFA Junior All-Ireland final.

The Shannonsiders haven’t been in a final since winning Junior in 2018, and have a completely new-look team since then.

Captain Roisin Ambrose is one of just four remaining players from the victorious 2018 side, and speaking on Treaty Talk ahead of the game, she highlighted the “brilliant” mood in the camp lately.

“It’s been brilliant, at the end of the day we’re in an All-Ireland final. Winning the semi-final was a huge boost for us. The mood in the camp has been brilliant the last few weeks. We’re really looking forward to Sunday.”

22 July 2023; Limerick players, from left, Chloe Brosnahan, Meadhbh MacNamara and Roisin Ambrose celebrate after the TG4 LGFA All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-final match between Limerick and Fermanagh at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

While Ambrose says winning the semi-final against Fermanagh was “a huge boost,” it is something she expected.

Despite initially struggling in the first-half, Limerick were doing the right things, and the 23-year-old said she had confidence in her teammates to get over the line despite losing two previous semi-finals to the Ulster outfit.

“I wasn’t worried, I had confidence in us. We were doing the right things. I knew at half-time if we focused we were going to get on top eventually.”

It is clear that Ambrose has confidence in her teammates, and that goes beyond the starting fifteen.

Cathy Mee, captained the side in 2018 has been a constant goal threat all year, while Caoimhe McGrath came off the bench to kick some crucial scores in the semi-final. Outside of that, the squad is a nice blend of youth and experience with Ambrose expressing that the younger members of the panel have “no fear,” with each panelist vital this Sunday.

“You hear so much about the panel, it’s not all down to the starting fifteen. We have such talent, we have younger girls, when they come on the field there’s going to be no stopping them. They have no fear, they’re brilliant. It really is all about the panel.”

The Limerick midfielder has grown a lot since first stepping onto the panel as a teenager, but has developed into a leader, and has assumed the role of captain.

However, she claims the captaincy is just a title, and that the team is full of leaders.

“We have so many leaders on our team, it’s not left to me, it’s just a title, we have leaders on and off the field.”

It seems Graham Shine may have struck the perfect balance with this industrious Limerick side.

Young, hungry, and skilful, there seems to be an ideal blend of leaders for the plethora of young talent emerging in the Limerick LGFA scene.

The Shannonsiders will hope to cap an amazing year by winning their third ever All-Ireland at Junior level, and their first since 2018, when they meet Down this Sunday in Croke Park.

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