"Our promotion will drive the standard on" - Mallon

March 08, 2021

Down's Niamh Mallon. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

Down star Niamh Mallon says its an exciting time for Ulster camogie as the Mourne women get ready to enter into the senior ranks for the first time in two decades.

This past December saw Down defeat Antrim in the All-Ireland intermediate final to cement their return to camogie’s top tier and Mallon is relishing the test.

Speaking to RTE Sport, the 2020 WGPA Intermediate Player’s Player of the Year says she can take inspiration from teams such as Waterford which have succeeded through the ranks with the right structures in place.

"It’s a long-term process, we’re under no illusions with that. Personally, I’d be looking at Waterford and all they’ve achieved," said Mallon.

"They beat us in the 2011 Junior final and they pushed on and put the right structures in place, brought the right people in and built on that success. Now, they’re regular All-Ireland Senior semi-finalists. In another few years they'll be competing for honours.

"That’s something I’d take a lot of inspiration from. That’s been a 10-year process for them so I know it’s going to be a massive process for us.

"Our promotion will drive the standard on. Derry and Antrim will be looking at us and think, ‘Why can’t we go up?’

"For me, that’s a great thing. If the inter-county level drives up then that filters down through the clubs, schools and underage.

"It’s a real opportunity for those at an administration level to capitalise on and grab the attention of young girls.”

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