New Antrim camogie management set-up

New Antrim camogie management set-up

Elaine Dowds.

By Damian Mullan


By Damian Mullan


Friday 7 January 2022 15:17

CHANGING a winning formula can be a risky thing to do.
Antrim Camogie, however, had no alternative after joint managers Paul McKillen and Jim McKernan called it a day following their All Ireland Intermediate championship success, leaving their successors a hard act to follow.
Many may wonder why the pair walked away and then, completely out of the blue, announced they were back in business- but with Armagh!
St John’s man McKernan was installed at the new Orchard boss with Ballycastle’s McKillen and another Antrim man, Glenariffe's Jonny McIntosh, also on board.
Whatever the reasons behind the break-up of such a wonderfult team, let's hope this is not another case of Antrim tearing itself apart!
The third member of that excellent trio, Elaine Dowds, has taken over the managerial reins at Antrim with Shane Elliott, Joe Passmore and Brian Kearney also coming on board.
Elliott, a former Dunloy and Antrim goalkeeper has, in the past, been involved with a number of successful club teams including his native Dunloy and, for the past couple of seasons, Derry side Dungiven.
Passmore was at the helm more than a decade ago when his club Eoghan Rua collected back to back All Ireland Intermediate club titles and then an Ulster senior crown.


More recently, the Omagh native has been involved with a number of hurling sides across Derry and Antrim, as well as with the Antrim minor hurlers.
Kearney, the fourth member of the management team, has been in charge of the Cushendall senior camogs who have become competitive in Division 1 of the Antrim leagues in recent times.
Dowds, herself, has loads of experience working along side McKillen and McKiernan.
As well as being part of that All Ireland winning management team, she has also overseen success at provincial level.
A science teacher at Cross and Passion in Ballycastle she has a long run of success at schools level.
She became one of the few woman in charge of inter-county camogie teams at the top level - Martina Rooney the last female to manage a team to an Ulster senior title.
Meanwhile, preparations for the new season are well underway with Dowds overseeing a well attended county trial at Dunsilly just before the holidays with another to follow after which panels at both senior and junior inter-count level will be named.
Action will soon resume with the Antrim senior team involved in the O'Duffy Cup for the first time since the early eighties with a reserve side competing at junior level this year.

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