Dublin’s Sinead Aherne – “That’s a pleasing aspect for us to be able to sort of have the patience and belief that we will find a way.”
Dublin’s Sinead Aherne will play in her tenth All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football final on Sunday. Old foes Cork await in the decider in Croke Park.
It’s almost three weeks since Mick Bohan’s side seen off the very serious challenge from Armagh in the semi final and with time to reflect on that game and the teams performance Dublin’s Sinead Aherne who went off with a hamstring tweak in the 25th minute of that game gave her assessment of their performance.
“It was cut short as you say, I think particularly in the first half we probably weren’t happy with some of our forward plays so we had to tighten it up a lot in the second half and the girls really came out and were much more clinical and controlled in what they did so I think it was pleasing to be challenged in that way and be able to come back.”
Finding a way to win games when things maybe aren’t going your way and under intense scrutiny from an opposing team is a huge asset to success and Aherne expressed that’s down to a level of patience and belief that the team will find a way to win that has been built up over the past number of years.
“It’s that level of belief that we have developed over the last couple of years, just being able to find our way to win and there have been matches that have been like that that are fast paced and somewhat end to end – last year with Galway it was very much cat and mouse so that’s probably a pleasing aspect for us to be able to sort of have the patience and belief that we will find a way.”
In terms of preparation for the final the Dublin Captain believes the tough semi-final against Armagh was the perfect tune for the biggest game of the year.
“I think it was, it was a very fast game and without being extremely open.
“I think we were tested by the quality attack that was there and we’ve obviously points that we need to work on from that and its good to get that kind of a test and we have had 3 weeks to be working on that so building up nicely to the final hopefully.”
Sinead spoke about Dublin’s poor form in the early part of the year and how important the role of the new players coming into the team has been in the upturn of their form during the championship.
“I think every year you need a fresh injection, you need people to be stepping up it’s something that’s really important to us in terms of the team that the players that are coming off the bench and the players that are making it into the match day 30 as it is this year, its been hard for the 7 or 8 girls on any one day who haven’t even been able to travel to the game thus far, it’s definitely something that is a huge part of how we prepare for the year and that ability to be able to challenge ourselves in in-house games with a fresh injection and really strong performances from the girls that are pushing to get into the starting jerseys.
“So it’s hugely important for us and I think we have had a great impact of the bench the last day even, hopefully its something that we can have in our armoury again on Sunday.”
For Sinead it’s her tenth final appearance in an All-Ireland Final on Sunday, she made her senior debut in 2003 and the game has since changed immensely since those days, for the Dublin Captain some of the biggest changes have been in the level of preparation and a more professional approach across the board including the level of coaching.
“The level of preparation and professionalism to use a word to talk about the way the standards of the game have gone.
“I think what you can see in terms of how the standards have gone up externally I think have been driven by the changes that are coming in through strength and conditioning and access to medical training facilities, food after training and funding for teams that are still needed to improve across the board to continue to raise standards.
“I think we have been able to develop the level of coaching that’s coming into the game and that’s hugely important.
“You obviously want to see that building up from underage structures right through and I think that is improving around the country in terms of the numbers that are coming out to nurseries of girls and boys are now very equal and that’s staying involved up to a level of under 11 and under 12 and I think trying to bring those players through to senior teams through the under age structures is probably key now for bringing it forward for the next few years.
“Its going to be more difficult I think for players to step from minor straight into senior and the same for 16 to 18 just as those standards improve and strength and conditioning and the likes so I think its trying to make sure that we can put in place structures for the relevant girls to bring forward standards for the next generation.”
Dublin face Cork this Sunday in the TG4 Senior All Ireland Ladies Football Final with the game throwing in at 3.30pm. The game will be broadcast on TG4 and we will have LIVE score updates as they happen over on our Twitter feed @wearedub