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Brackey Preparing To Take On The World

Thursday 11.10.2012
Team Talk Mag

Brackey will be sending one of the strongest club teams in the whole country to the 2012 World handball championships, which will commence today (Thursday) in the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, and will continue up until 21st October.

A total of 28 Brackey players, including a number of current All-Ireland champions, will be among the huge field of over two thousand players battling it out in 21 purpose built courts for gold medals in a range of age groups and grades.

One of those leading the way for the club is Ruairi Kelly, who already knows what it takes to succeed on the international stage, and he is looking forward to this event more than anything he has previoulsy taken part in.

“It’s a very special event to be preparing for when its the best in the game all coming to Ireland to try and win a world title,” emphasised Ruairi. “It’s by far the biggest event I’ve planned for which makes it very exciting, and for it to be all in one venue at the Citywest is amazing for both players and spectators.

“My first world championships that I took part in were in Canada in 2006, where I won the mens C doubles title. It was a great experience to see how it all worked as I’d never been to something like it before.
“I then went to the world championships in Portland in 2009 where I won the Mens A singles,” recalls Ruairi proudly. “Winning that mens A title was very special as it was a strong field of players to come through, and with my mum and dad making the trip to America and seeing me lift the world title, that made it an extra special victory.”

It won’t be easy for Ruairi to repeat his exploits from previous championships because, apart from the fact that he has had to deal with injury in the past twelve months, he now finds himself mixing with the elite in world handball.
“My goal is simply to do the best I can in these world championships; I’m in the open grade this time which is going to be very difficult but I know if I play to my potential I will hold my own. To win in the open grade with the top players in the world competing would be a dream come true.
“The past year and a bit has been very tough for me as I’ve had to go through a couple of operations on my shoulders,” Ruairi explained. “I’ve worked hard to be fit to play in the worlds and it didn’t look good when only a couple of months ago the doctor and physio both told me there would be little chance I’d be back in time. But with alot of rehab and physio work I got back playing and for the last few weeks in particular I’ve spent a serious amount of time in the handball court getting my game together.”

Ruairi is very proud of the fact that his club has firmly established itself as a major force in national handball circles, with the All-Ireland feile title recently  returning to the club for a second time and outstanding young players such as Sean Kerr, Jack Campbell, Maeve McElduff, Pol Clarke, Johnny Woods and Gabhainn McCrystall all lifting All-Ireland underage titles in 2012.
Sean Kerr and Jack Campbell perhaps deserve a special mention, Sean for his remarkable achievement in completing a clean sweep of All-Irelands in his age group covering every code of handball, and Jack for securing a highly sought after place on the official Ireland team for these championships.

“These world championships mean a great deal to the club,” stressed Ruari. “As it’s in Ireland we can bring a lot more young players to it which will showcase the talent we have in Brackey at underage level. I believe that Brackey handball is as strong now as it has ever been at every age level, in both boys and girls handball.
“There has been a lot of work done throughout the years in the club with the likes of Nial Kerr and Sean Clarke among others doing a lot for the young players with coaching and travelling all over Ireland for competitions, as well as America. I think credit has to go to the men that coached us older players when we were younger and kept Brackey going back then; the likes of Stephen Kelly, Mick Kerr and Justin Kelly put most of their spare time into Brackey handball club to get it where it is today.

“Most of the Brackey players can make a real impact at the Citywest if they can play their best and don’t let the occasion get to them, with the likes of Sean Kerr, Pol Clarke, Gabhain McCrystall, Maeve McElduff and Eilise McCrory, to name a few, all in with a really good chance.

“Quite a few of the young players deserve to achieve something at the worlds as they have put a big effort into training over the last few months, which could be seen at the alley as it has been packed every night. It’s great to see them all wanting to do so well,” enthused Ruiairi.
“I would love to see Pol Clarke and Gabhain McCrystal win the 17 and under doubles because they have had some hard defeats in the past couple of years, including losing the All-Ireland minor doubles final this year by one point, but hopefully all goes well for them in the worlds and it could be their time to overcome those defeats.”
Over the next ten days, Ruairi, who is presently one of the top one-wall players in Ireland, will be encouraging every young Brackey player when he gets the chance. But along with the likes of Shane O’Neill, another top grade player from the club, Conor McElduff, a serious contender at under-19, and Niall Kerr, a renowned masters player, he will also have his sights set on winning gold for himself.
Brackey’s reputation as a handball force could be just about to get even better.

Brackey squad for World Handball Championships 2012…

Michelle Warren, Michaela McCartan, Elizabeth McGarvey, Emer Kerr, Clodagh Donaghy, Eilise McCrory, Maeve McElduff, Caolan McCartan, Mark McCartan, Matthew McCartan, Sean Kerr, Niall Kerr, Turlough Clarke, Pol Clarke, Sean McCrory, Eamon McCror,Seamus McCrory, Mattie McSorley, Johnny Woods, Tiernan McCrystal, Jack Campbell, Conor McElduff, Tony McElduf, Ruairi Kelly, Barry Devlin, Shane O Neill, Conal McGinn, Gabhainn McCrystall



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