Dublin Minor’s take on Armagh tomorrow in the All Ireland semi-final.
Dub’s boss Martin McDonnell is looking forward to the encounter as he aims to reach the minor final for the first team since 2013. Martin answered a few of our questions this week and here is what the man from Ringsend had to say…
Q: How did you come to get involved in managing / coaching Ladies Gaelic football?
MMcD: I used to bring my daughter to play and was asked to help out at the Feile as the manager couldn’t make it for the Saturday as she was at a wedding. We won the Feile division we were in and I was hooked from there on in.
Q: Which football or sporting manager past or present do you admire the most and why?
MMcD: Eamon Ryan basically for instilling a never know when your beaten attitude in his team and by keeping the game simple, but with the players playing with the right execution and at a high tempo. It was very seldom you seen one of his players take the wrong option when in possession.
Q: What has been the best and the worst moments of your management career so far?
MMcD: Best – Winning the Leinster final for the first time in 2015 as the manager of the Dublin team. What made it extra special was the panel included several players that were making it onto a Dublin panel for the first time at minor, which was a bit unusual.
Worst – Losing the All Ireland semi-final to Cork by 5 pts. We had Cork on the rack in the first half but they reeled us in which is something Cork seem to do to a lot of team, you have to admire them for it.
Q: Who was your sports hero growing up?
MMcD: Without doubt Jimmy Keaveney (The Pope) and the great Kevin Heffernan of course
Q: Tell us about your first game in charge of a Dublin team, what was the experience like?
MMcD: My first match in charge was versus Westmeath in the Leinster championship in 2015. I was a bit nervous and we started bit slow but we won handy in the end and I felt the relief as much as pleasure as in the end it had gone well.
Q: Which team was the toughest opposition you ever faced?
MMcD: The Cork Minor of 2015, mind you I always think our next opponents are our toughest opposition.
Q: What sporting event in the world would you love to attend?
MMcD: Ladies All Ireland final as the Dublin manager (cheeky grin)
Q: Which sports would you watch apart from Gaelic Games?
MMcD: I enjoy American football and soccer. I attained some coaching badges for soccer when I was quite young. I’m always looking to see how we can modify coaching drills and tactics from other sports to use them in ladies GAA
Q: Apart from Dublin of course what other team (any code) would you like to manage?
MMcD: Kilkenny hurling team.
Q: If you could change one rule in Ladies football, what would it be?
MMcD: That players have to be outside the 21yrd line before kick out can be taken (Speed up game)
Q: If there was a transfer market in Ladies football, which player would you like to see sign to Dublin and why?
MMcD: Cora Staunton, she plays every game as if it’s her last.
Q: With the recent sponsorship investment in the LGFA by LIDL along with the announcement of one million in government funding for Ladies football and Camogie, do you think enough is being done to promote women in sport?
MMcD: My thoughts would be that while the coverage and promotion of women’s sport has improved in recent times not enough is being done to promote LGFA for the proportion of membership it enjoys in overall women’s sports. Women’s Rugby in my opinion gets more coverage than LGFA even though LGFA has a higher percentage of members.
All Ireland Minor Championship Semi- Final
Saturday July 16th, 4pm
Dublin v Armagh
Inniskeen GAA Club, Co Monaghan