Carla Rowe – “The Young Girls Are Very, Very Good, They Are Pushing Us Older Girls Constantly”

Dublin’s Carla Rowe has enjoyed the offseason break ahead of the start of the 2020 Lidl Ladies National League although she says come December it’s in the back of her mind that she has hard work ahead once training resumes.

“Yes it was good, brilliant, the break is always nice, after September a lot of the Dublin girls had club to finish off, so we finished off our club by the end of October and then started off in November so it was a nice month or two you could say.

“You start thinking about it come December then and you start doing your own few bits, any rehab and stuff you have to do, but yes it’s nice to just have that break to spend time with your family and friends you might not see as much.”

With thoughts turning to the new season and a return to training once the players reach December, can they like the rest of us enjoy the Christmas period, Carla commented that although returning to training is in the back of her mind, yes she can enjoy it but is also mindful to look after herself knowing there is hard work ahead for her in early January.

“Yes you can (enjoy christmas), it’s there in the back of your mind but you just have to say this is the way it is and enjoy it, mind yourself before it and you can just move forward and know you have some hard work ahead of you, so come the Monday when we came back (training) you just know we’ve started back here and you have to be realistic to get back on the horse and start again.”

Dublin have been back collectively training about two weeks, but Carla explained that some have been back training earlier, others later and a there are still a few players to come back. The reason for different players coming back to training at different stages is down to injuries, rehab and just mileage on the clock for certain players.

“We are back a couple of weeks, I know there were some back earlier, some back in a bit later and some girls still to come back in, it just depends on injuries, rehab, the amount of years, the amount of time your body needs, so we will be coming in and out it just depends on the players and their individual needs.

“We have a great squad there, we have brought in a good few new players and different things so we are looking forward to starting off.”

Manager Mick Bohan has given plenty of game time during the national league in the past and Carla expects that to be the case again.

She explained it’s exactly what the squad needs as the game is now longer about just about twenty players of twenty five players but an extended panel as players will be needed to slot into the team when called upon, especially as players will pick up injuries throughout the year.

Carla Rowe is also highly impressed with the young players who have been added to the squad and says that they are really pushing the older girls all the time and are really fighting for a starting jersey.

“Yes I would think so (Mick giving game time to the new players), it’s about developing us as a whole team and not just and not just twenty or twenty five players.

“You need the thirty or thirty five there because on any given day anyone can get injured, particularly throughout the league, your week in, week out, you can pick up a niggle and you can miss two full matches, two full weeks and you miss two full matches which isn’t the case in championship.

“So you have to be able to have a lot of players to know the game plan, know exactly what’s happening so they can slot in here and there and in fairness we are on the right track.”

“The young girls are really, really good, they are pushing us older girls constantly, they are always trying to get a place on the team, push in, they are getting places on the team, taking jerseys and you have to go and try and get your jersey back, so that’s what you need, you need that biting at the jersey in order to keep the intensity in the team.”

Dublin kickstart their 2020 Lidl national football league campaign with a home tie against Intermediate All Ireland champions Tipperary and Carla Rowe is expecting an exciting game.

She pointed out that you don’t win an All Ireland intermediate title if you don’t have special talent both individually and as a collective and Carla and her Dublin teammates are looking forward to a really good game.

The Clann Mhuire star said Dublin have put in a couple of weeks work and the game will be a chance to dust off a few cobwebs and they will see how they go on Sunday and that they have to learn from every game they play.

“Tipperary are a great side, you don’t win an intermediate All Ireland off the back of nothing, they have some unbelievable individual talent and as well as that they have a great team collective, so it’s definitely going to be a good game, it’s a one to start and we are looking forward to it.

“We’ve put in a couple of weeks work so we will dust off a few cobwebs and get the match underway and see how we go and we will just have to keep learning from every game that we play.”

All Ireland champions normally return later to training than most of the other teams due to fact they have had a longer season to the rest and in the early rounds of the league they can be a bit behind their opponents in terms of where their fitness and sharpness levels are but Carla Rowe explained you can’t really focus on where the other teams might be and you just have to concentrate on own team and your own plans.

“You can’t really focus much on the other teams, you know we could be ahead, we could be behind, you can’t go chasing the tails of other teams I wonder where they are and start going away from our own plans.

“We’ve the work we have done and you can’t increase it, so it’s just looking at the teams and the way we can play where we are at now and what way we need to play to fit in with that. Generally we are on the right track and we are looking forward to it.”

In certain competitions during the year there can be a couple of weeks between games for teams, but during the league the games come thick and fast and personally for Carla she loves the cut and trust of the busy league schedule and says it’s exactly what players want to be out on the pitch playing games week in and week out.

“For me personally I know i love it, I think a lot of girls do, anyone I’ve spoken to they love the league campaign – week in, week out that’s what you want to do, you want to be playing matches your back home on the Sunday night, your getting ready for the Monday maybe recovery or gym and then your back training and then your going again it’s brilliant.

“You want to be playing matches and you want to be in the middle of it all, so we are definitely looking forward to it starting on Sunday and then it rolls for seven or eight weeks.”

Carla went on to speak about Dublin’s ambitions to reclaim the division one title, the upcoming double headers and much more, you can view the full interview in the video above.