Cork senior camogie star Jennifer O’Leary will swap the sand and surf of Bondi Beach for the grassy terrain of Kilkenny on Saturday afternoon when she makes her return to senior inter-county action after a break of almost two years.
The 26-year-old wing-forward left Leeside in 2008 opting for some time out from a game which has seen her amass three All-Ireland titles and four consecutive All-Star awards.
A teacher by profession, she settled in Sydney after spending time backpacking in New Zealand. Missing out on Cork’s double-winning feats in the intervening years was chief amongst the reasons for her return.
‘I saw highlights of the ‘08 final and I missed the ‘09 final as I was playing in a camogie and football tournament on that weekend. It was strange being away from the team, but I felt that I really wanted a break and that I had been playing for quite a while.
‘It was great to see them doing so well and I must say that it’s an exciting time to come back into the panel. I have to say I feel pretty nervous considering I have been out of the game for a while but I am also looking forward to the new challenge and of getting back to the pace of the game.’
O’Leary will have a busy weekend as school’s side Colaiste Colm, Ballincollig, whom she coaches, face Borris Vocational School, Carlow in the Senior B Colleges Final while she togs out with Cork.