ANOTHER match over. Mick Ward leans on the railings and takes a breather. But it will be a short one.
His job as the Dublin Camogie kit-man never stops. It’s all about the next gig. Preparation is the key. Hours and hours at home. Matchday only forms part of it.
But he relishes the role. And the Dublin County Chairman, Pat Martin, values his input.
So do the players. And for Mick, they are the VIPs. “If what I do boosts the players by even three or four percent, it’s worth it,” says Mick.
There have been many distinguished kit-men in sport. Little Leo Griffin with the Kerry footballers. Joe Lyons with the Dublin hurlers. Christy ‘Sweets’ with the footballers.
The great Charlie O’Leary, who brought Jack Charlton to meet the Pope. And the present Ireland kit-man, Mick Lawlor,the highIy-decorated international.
Like Joe, Mick’s club is Naomh Fionnbarra. Bars to the bone. And the Pope Big Jack went to see landed on the Bogies in 1979. But long before that, The Bogies were always considered Holy Ground.
Mick has spent decades there, serving the club. And his devotion to county is also to be commended.
“You have to be committed to it,” explains Mick. “You have to make sure that you have everything right. “You hope that it brings something extra to the team. The players are very professional in their approach.
“They give 100pc on the pitch. Off it, they focus on things like diet,etc. “And before the game, they have their routine of music, water, Lucozade, fruit, the whole lot. “They work hard for each other. They encourage each other. “And that’s the way it should be.”
Spirit has always been part of life in Cabra. Mick has precious memories of his time playing with Naomh Fionnbarra. Genuine, decent people. As Con Houlihan would say, the salt of the
Today, he marvels how far the club have come. “It was Gerry Kehoe who brought me into the club. He will always be a legend in Cabra. “I was lucky enough to play on some wonderful teams. “And it’s fantastic to see how the club have progressed with the facilities that are there now.”
Having county players adds to the flavour. Siobhan Kehoe is a jewel of a forward on the Dublin camogie side. Then there’s The Trollier, Eamon Dillon, with the hurlers. And another fabulous hurler in Ryan Curley, who is very highly regarded. “We have many other talented players, and they are all pushing for county recognition. And rightly so.
Every player should strive to play for their county at all levels. “The club is flying. And it’s such a lift for everybody to have the Dublin players.
“We are 70 years old this year. And the club will be here in another 70 years. I won’t!”
But Mick’s generous legacy will forever blow sweetly on
the breeze of the Bogies.
A man who gives his all, and never counts the cost.