Star­ring role

Irish Examiner - County - - Front Page - John Bo­hane

Cork camo­gie star Jen Hos­ford re­cently won an All-Star award in Aus­tralia.

She pro­duced a num­ber of out­stand­ing per­for­mances for her adopted club side.

CORK camo­gie star Jen Hos­ford re­cently won an All-Star award in Aus­tralia.

The for­mer Cork player had pro­duced a num­ber of out­stand­ing per­for­mances for her adopted club side in Aus­tralia. Three other Cork play­ers, Karen Jones, Clair O’Ma­hony and Louise Hol­land, were also recog­nised with All-Star awards.

Jen, who played her club camo­gie with Glen Rovers, when she was based in Cork, was thrilled.

“It was an un­be­liev­able hon­our to re­ceive an All-Star award. It was a proud mo­ment,” said the camo­gie star.

Her All-Star suc­cess is all the more re­mark­able as she only re­turned to com­pet­i­tive ac­tion early this year, fol­low­ing a long-term in­jury. She fin­ished her sea­son on a high.

“I was de­lighted with my per­for­mance through­out the year, as I only re­turned to play­ing ac­tion in March, af­ter ACL re­con­struc­tion. I quickly no­ticed my own con­fi­dence grow with ev­ery match. I mainly played cen­tre for­ward or mid­field, through­out the sea­son. The club sea­son fin­ished in June and will restart in Feb­ru­ary, with the sevens tour­na­ment.”

The for­mer Glen Rovers star plays with Mel­bourne Sham­rocks. She is hop­ing her new club will en­joy more suc­cess next sea­son.

“I was ac­tu­ally sur­prised how strong camo­gie is in Aus­tralia, as I did not think it would be as com­pet­i­tive. I play for Mel­bourne Sham­rocks. Un­for­tu­nately, we were not too suc­cess­ful, in re­gards win­ning league or cham­pi­onship glory, but we pro­gressed ex­tremely well to­gether, as the year went on.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the com­pet­i­tive sea­son re­sum­ing next year, as we have im­proved im­mensely as a team dur­ing the year. Join­ing camo­gie was the best de­ci­sion I have made, be­cause I have made the most amaz­ing friend­ships through camo­gie. The club or­gan­ises so many events to get ev­ery­one to­gether and re­ally makes you feel wel­come.”

She is thrilled for the other three Cork play­ers who gar­nered All-Star awards. The quar­tet were hon­oured for a se­ries of great dis­plays for their re­spec­tive club teams this year.

“I am ab­so­lutely de­lighted for the girls. Their per­for­mance, and the ded­i­ca­tion they have shown through­out the year, was fan­tas­tic, so it was wellde­served. They are all fan­tas­tic and strong play­ers. As I’m the only one who plays for Sham­rocks, I would have to say that on the pitch we are en­e­mies, but that off the pitch we are great friends.

“I didn’t know ei­ther Clair or Louise, be­fore I moved to Aus­tralia. I would have only known Karen Jones from play­ing In­nis­carra, be­fore she left for Aus­tralia. It is great to share suc­cess with other Cork play­ers.”

Jen moved to Aus­tralia just over a year ago. She has set­tled seam­lessly into life in Mel­bourne, but she misses her beloved Glen Rovers.

“I moved to Aus­tralia just over a year ago and it is the best de­ci­sion I have made. The life­style is just amaz­ing. I keep up to date with camo­gie news from home, through my own club and Cork camo­gie posts.

“I must say, I miss play­ing with the Glen girls and love see­ing them in ac­tion from posts. Glen Rovers are a fan­tas­tic club, with great peo­ple, like Mary New­man, who works hard to keep camo­gie strong in our club.

“We have had a lot of suc­cess down through the years. My best mo­ment from play­ing for them would be the year I re­turned from my first ACL surgery and won mi­nor cham­pi­onship and se­nior B glory with the girls. That was a great year for the club.

“I had just turned 10 when I be­gan play­ing with the Glen. They are a great club.”

Jen was de­lighted to see the Cork se­nior and in­ter­me­di­ate camo­gie teams win All-Ire­land ti­tles in their re­spec­tive grades this year. She was es­pe­cially thrilled to see two Glen play­ers in the vic­to­ri­ous squads.

“It was fan­tas­tic to see the Cork girls win both the se­nior and in­ter­me­di­ate All-Ire­land cham­pi­onship ti­tles this year, as they are a strong side. Cork is full of tal­ented play­ers, which au­gurs well for the com­ing years. They have a great back­room team guid­ing them.

“It was es­pe­cially great to see tal­ented play­ers, like Leanne O’Sul­li­van and Lau­ren Cal­lanan, rep­re­sent­ing the Glen, also. They are very good play­ers, who have bright fu­tures ahead.” The for­mer Glen Rovers ace proudly rep­re­sented her beloved Rebel team back in 2015. She has great mem­o­ries of play­ing with Cork, both at un­der­age and adult level.

“I be­gan play­ing for Cork at un­der­age level when I was 15. I then pro­ceeded to se­nior level in 2015, re­ceiv­ing an All-Ire­land that year. I have great mem­o­ries of play­ing for Cork. I left at the end of the 2016 sea­son, in prepa­ra­tion for Aus­tralia the fol­low­ing year.

“I also played for UCC dur­ing my three years study­ing early-years. We had a great team. I was joint cap­tain of the team that reached the Ash­bourne fi­nal in 2017. Un­for­tu­nately, we did not get the win.”

The am­bi­tious camo­gie star has short-term and long-term goals she hopes to re­alise in the com­ing years.

“My goals in camo­gie would be to win the cham­pi­onship with the Sham­rock girls next year and also win the State Games next year. When I re­turn to Cork, I would love to win the se­nior cham­pi­onship with the Glen.”

“I miss play­ing with the Glen girls and love see­ing them in ac­tion from posts ”

Pic­ture: Des Barry

For­mer Cork for­ward Jen­nifer Hos­ford, be­ing chal­lenged by Wex­ford de­fender Stacey Red­mond, in the 2015 clash in River­stown.

Pic­ture: De­nis Mini­hane

Jen­nifer Hos­ford, Leanne O’Sul­li­van and Lau­ren Cal­lanan, three past pupils, brought the O’Duffy Cup to Scoil Oilib­hÈir, Bal­lyvolane, three years ago.

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