Offaly manager Adrian Clancy makes no bones about the depth of challenge facing his side in Saturday’s Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh (2.30pm) but he is confident that his charges will push hot favourites Kilkenny all the way.
Clancy has overseen an overhaul of the Offaly panel in his maiden season after taking over from Barry Whelehan and the St Rynagh’s man is delighted that they won four out of five games in the group stages.
Remarkably, their score difference was still only enough for third behind All-Ireland champions Cork and Wexford, and that places them against the National League winners with a place in the semi-final against Galway up for grabs.
“It’s great for this bunch of girls” says Clancy. “Last year we didn’t win any game. We have four out of five this year, and an All-Ireland Quarter-Final.
“At the start of the year we just took it game-on-game. There’s been a big change in the panel. It’s the management’s first year involved.
"I think there are eight or nine of last year’s panel gone, so we really blended a new team together but the older girls have been very good bringing on the new girls and it’s a great achievement to be in an All-Ireland Quarter-Final.
“It’ll be a huge game. Our performance in the second half (against Waterford) won’t be good enough to beat Kilkenny. We’ll have to bring our A game.
“Kilkenny is our complete focus now and we can’t look any further than that. They’re a serious outfit. They won the National League.
“It’s back to work-rate and the work-rate is exceptional from everyone. They all buy into what we want to do. Everyone wants to push Offaly Camogie forward and that’s what it’s all about. You can’t beat work rate – and a bit of luck as well!”