Galway captain Sarah Dervan pictured with the O'Duffy Cup.
Galway captain Sarah Dervan pictured with the O'Duffy Cup.

Sarah Dervan hoping to secure further Galway glory

By Cian O'Connell

Sarah Dervan acknowledges that the value of sport has been underlined in the chaotic year of 2020.

Everything is different as Galway prepare for a second successive All Ireland Camogie Final against Kilkenny.

A Saturday evening fixture in December illustrates how strange it is, but Dervan remains delighted to be involved with Galway.

Getting the opportunity to participate in a Championship carried huge relevance in so many ways.

"Absolutely, yeah," Dervan responds instantly. "And it’s just having something different to talk about apart from Covid.

"There have been some weekends I said to my Mum that I felt I hadn’t got off the couch for two days, there was so much sport on, I wanted to watch it all.

"It’s just absolutely fantastic to have it back. It’s been great to have all the camogie games streamed and available to everybody."

Under Cathal Murray's shrewd guidance Galway have achieved an admirable level of consistency in recent campaigns.

"Every year you want to be at your best, we’ve got a few new girls in this year and the competition for places is very high," Dervan admits.

"It keeps every one on their toes and motivated, pushing each other on, which is the main thing. We don’t even know what the team is going to be, it’s a lottery at this stage, you just hope that you’re on it.

Sarah Dervan remains a key performer for Galway.
Sarah Dervan remains a key performer for Galway.

"Then you have girls on the line who are ready and willing to put their hands up the minute they’re called."

Murray has occupied a central role in Galway's improvement.

"Our management team are brilliant, they leave no stone unturned for us," Dervan states.

"They look after us the best way they can. We have such a strong panel, someone different puts their hand up every day.

"You know you have to give it everything in every training session because they do keep an eye on everyone.

"They make sure we’re looked after, their standards are high for us, they demand nothing but the best for us, and we feed off that. It’s a brilliant set-up and we’re so lucky to have them."

Off the field Dervan has been forced to deal with different challenges. Last Friday was the second day her wedding was set to take place, but again had to be cancelled due to restrictions.

"I’ve never been so thankful that I have something else to think about," Dervan acknowledges.

"I’m thrilled I have an All Ireland to look forward to rather than thinking about this. We postponed the new date back in August, just because of all the uncertainty.

"I just got so sick of watching the news, seeing the numbers and them only going the wrong way.

Sarah Dervan captained Galway to All Ireland Camogie glory in 2019.
Sarah Dervan captained Galway to All Ireland Camogie glory in 2019.

"The pressure of trying decide what to do, will you have your suppliers and all that again? Making the decision was probably one of the hardest things to do.

"There was nothing but relief once it was made, it was great to have it off your shoulders. I just threw myself in to camogie and I’m delighted to be able to have it to keep me going."

Admirably Dervan doesn't wish to make any fuss about the unfortunate dilemma.

"There are plenty of players who are just like me, I’m no different to anyone else who had to do it," Mullagh's Dervan adds.

"There’s Niamh Kilkenny as well and a couple on the Kilkenny team.

"You just get on with things, that’s life, you can’t change it. I’ll look forward to it again when it comes around."

That is now set for next November. Camogie matters provide a welcome distraction.

"Absolutely," Dervan replies. "And it’s something different to talk about, you just get lost in it, I suppose.

"Every day you want to improve yourself, find little inches that made the big differences.

"Having training to go to, the buzz when you get there, the craic, it’s great to have. And it’s great for family and friends and neighbours to be able to watch and to talk about."