Dublin Joint Manager Willie Braine Disputes Claim There’s A Lack Of Talent In Dublin

A new decade, a new era and new management and players for Dublin senior camogie and last night new joint manager Willie Braine sat down with We Are Dublin GAA to discuss his first few months in the job and tomorrow’s opening league game of 2020.

Willie Braine shares the manager position with John Treacy and the first job for both men when they took the reins was to scour the county to find the best talent in the many clubs in the capital.

We asked Willie how the process went and he explained that a combination of some of last years minors stepping up, an extensive scouting process during the club championship which unearthed lots of new talent, knocking on doors secured the players for the panel.

“I was involved last year with the minors and some of them have stepped up and literally there was a bit of knocking on doors and ringing girls, some girls had gone travelling and some girls (for different reasons) chose not to be involved this year.

“From the club championships Dave Dunning and a lot of scouts were going around, so there was certainly some girls unearthed from there, as I said the minors came up and the really really good girls that were there in the last couple of years that are staying on which we would be lost without them and we have one or two extras to come in as well that we got from club games or people ringing us. Then shortly we will have the Vincent’s contingent joining us as well.”

Dublin were once the top team in senior Camogie but the record over the last three and a half decades has been poor, Dublin haven’t won a national title at senior level since the mid eighties.

This has led to comments that Dublin just don’t have the talent playing the game, Willie Braine though states that’s not true and there is an abundance of top class players in Dublin.

“It is there in leaps and bounds, it really is there, we are two Dubs, John and myself, so this is a passion it’s not ‘managing a Dublin team’ we are from Dublin so we are really really proud to be involved and we would do anything for the girls, but it’s really just putting in where we train and getting nutrition and all that right which the County Board have done for us, so on the pitch everything is done now, so it’s up to the girls, but they are really really putting it in.

“The talent is there, anyone who says the talent isn’t there – well hopefully we will show that on Sunday – that the talent is there and we really really believe in this bunch of girls.”

When a county, particularly a county like Dublin goes through a period with no success in winning or challenging for titles the question is always why? When the question was put to Willie what his thoughts were on why Dublin have struggled for so long he said there were different reasons and at times just little things maybe just didn’t happen to put the final piece in the jigsaw.

“Different reasons, what we are trying to do is give the girls the respect they deserve, empowering the girls to be the best they can be – everyone tries to do their best.

“David Herity did brilliant and Shane O’Brien. They were very very close and then just little things maybe don’t happen to put the jigsaw together, so it’s our job to try and knit it all together ,to have the best girls in Dublin playing Camogie but have that freedom to play, ok everyone has a bit of a game plan but what we are saying is, we are facilitators, facilitating you to be the best that you can be and we mean that – we want them to own it and we are telling them don’t look to the side line, when you are on the pitch, you are doing the job on the pitch.

“We trust you to do it and we really do and that’s what’s coming since last November and hopefully it will just come at the right time for Galway and then Tipperary and Limerick.”

There are no easy games at inter-county level but Willie Braine and John Treacy and their Dublin Senior team will be thrown right into probably the toughest opener they could ask for as they welcome the visit of the reigning league and All Ireland champions to the capital for their opening Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie league Division 1 fixture.

That type of opening fixture might have some managements and teams nervous but Willie expressed that that’s the complete opposite and everyone involved with the Dublin team are excited and can’t wait for the game.

“We have obviously looked at them and know their key players, we know they are tough and they like to swarm and they like to move around the pitch and they can score from anywhere. But we would like to think we have a plan for that.

“Both teams are missing players the Sarsfield’s and the Vincent’s girls who played each other last week I’m sure are missing, it will be different than championship teams, but it’s an opportunity to take on the All Ireland champions in our first game under new management with a super bunch of girls. We are not nervous we can’t wait for it we have been training hard and we can’t wait for the game to come around.”

Besides the challenge of Galway there will also be the challenge of the new trial rules which both teams will have to deal with tomorrow. Willie is looking forward to the new rules and he is particularly looking forward to see what the interpretation of the tackle rule will be by the referee.

“I really look forward to the new rules, there was a launch of them to players and managers last Saturday so we had a few questions we are not gonna talk about them too much.

“I really look forward to the interpretation of the tackle and then we have to see what Galway and Dublin do on the reset of the puck-out. The girls are delighted with the tackle and we hope (and I am sure they will) the referees will allow the play.”

Willie also spoke about how he wanted Dublin to play and how they would be playing with an attacking set-up, what will constitute a successful first season for the management and the squad and much more.

The full interview can be viewed in the video attached above.