Teehan hoping something can be salvaged from debacle of cancelled All Stars’ Canada trip

Timing of the trip to Calgary so close to the championship’s start left country’s top camogie players little option

Kilkenny’s All-Ireland-winning corner back Michelle Teehan has echoed criticism of this year’s cancelled PwC Camogie All Stars trip to Canada but expressed the hope that it won’t be the end of the tours and that something might be salvaged later this year.

The winners of the last two seasons’ awards for 2021 and ‘22 had been due to play an exhibition match in Calgary at the end of May, returning just a week before the championship begins.

Cork players withdrew, refusing to compromise their preparations and others followed. Eventually the Camogie Association cancelled the tour for this year.

“Yeah, I do think it’s complex and from a player’s point of view it’s really disappointing, the timing it was put on,” said Teehan at Thursday’s launch of Optimum Nutrition as a partner with the Gaelic Players Association.


“I know that the Camogie Association were approached by a team in Canada, saying that they’d love to host it, and they obviously gave a timeframe. So, I suppose, from their point of view that’s what they were looking at. But it is tough from a player’s point of view, because it’s a great thing to have and you’d love to see it keeping going.

“There’s work going on in the background, so hopefully they can come up with some other alternative solution.”

Teehan, an All Star nominee, said that the idea of interrupting a team’s championship preparation should never have been entertained as an option.

“It was a big ask. It was a huge ask for players and it should never have been something that they had to decide on, or to even think about whether they leave their team two weeks out from championship or not. It shouldn’t even be a discussion, really.”

Responding to queries from the Irish Examiner in February, the Camogie Association said that pressures from calendar reform had contributed to the situation.

“The split season has placed pressure on all availability, combined with a league, provincial championship and club window.”

The tours remain an important part of the players’ year and the GPA has been lobbying for an alternative date to replace the cancelled trip, which was due to be the first since the pandemic struck three years ago.

This was endorsed by Teehan.

“To be honest, I’m not really sure on the ins and outs but I’d love to see that these players from this year do get the benefit of it later on. I really don’t know what the options are for the Camogie Association or for the players . . . but hopefully the players this year can see the benefit of it as well.”

Although not scheduled to take part in the tour herself, she said the matter had been discussed within the Kilkenny panel, which has the greatest number of All Stars from the past two seasons, after the Cork players had withdrawn.

“I suppose it was important to kind of keep unity. I think there were even talks within the different counties because everybody wants to support everybody.

“I know there was definitely talk within our team. No one was going to tell them whether to go or not. It was still ultimately their decision but I think as a group they wanted to do what the majority wanted.”

On another live controversy Teehan also has strong views. The London club Thomas McCurtains are lobbying the Camogie Association’s at this weekend’s annual congress to replace skorts – the game’s traditional combination of shorts and a skirt – with shorts, as worn in women’s football.

She supports the campaign.

“I am definitely in favour. I don’t really see why we’re still in skorts. I myself personally would be a lot more comfortable in shorts. Even when you fall to the ground, shorts are definitely a lot more comfortable. It’s probably just a traditional thing at the minute but I’m definitely in favour of that swap.”

Asked was there anything other than tradition in favour of the camogie garment, Teehan was blunt.

“Purely traditional. They obviously have tight shorts under it and then they have a skirt essentially over it so when that skirt goes up it’s just the tight shorts so I really don’t think there’s any benefit to them.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times