Dublin Ladies footballer Oonagh Whyte in a sky blue jersey and navy shorts and Dublin selector Sorcha Farrelly pose for a picture with the Brendan Martin Cup On the Croke Park pitch

 

 

Interview By FM104’s Declan Drake

 

In an exclusive interview with FM104’s Declan Drake Dublin Senior Ladies selector Sorcha Farrelly spoke about today’s Lidl NFL clash with Mayo in Croke Park.

Declan also asked Sorcha about Dublin’s league campaign to date, the performance of the new players on the panel, if Noelle Healy will play any part in the campaign and the return to the squad of captain Sinead Aherne.

DD: From a management teams point of view how do you think the opening two games have gone from your own perspective.

Sorcha Farrelly: We would have been disappointed with our performance against Donegal and our focus at this time of the year is on performances and we just felt that day our work rate and intensity wasn’t there, so against Tipperary we were pleased to see that that had improved, I think there is still work to be done and we are hoping there will be another step up this weekend against Mayo.

DD: Dublin hit the ground running against Tipperary there was two goal and a point on the board inside the opening ten minutes before they even saw daylight in it.

Sorcha Farrelly: Yes that was pleasing, that day we had to make a few changes to the team due to illness, so to see the way those girls took their opportunity and started the game at such a pace was very pleasing and to score six goals was obviously a good days work.

DD: You can have all the quality you want in training and obviously they are in the group because they are talented footballers, but until you actually see them perform in a competitive match situation you just don’t know and certainly some of them stepped up to the mark down there.

Sorcha Farrelly: Absolutely that’s what we have done in the last few years in the league, I think we give everyone a great opportunity in the league.

As you say you only get to see players in cauldron when the pressure is on them, so to see the girls go out against Tipperary and some girls really took that opportunity that’s very pleasing for us.

DD: The challenge of Mayo, Dublin have an excellent record against them since they beat them in the final in 2017 in Croke Park and I know your going to tell me that that counts for little come Saturday evening at 5 O’Clock but a lot of those girls will have good memories of playing Mayo.

Sorcha Farrelly: Yes but as you say it doesn’t count for anything it is a new season it’s a very changed Mayo set-up this year a lot of new faces as well, so they will be looking to put on a performance in Croke Park.

It’s a great opportunity, as for us, it’s a great opportunity for them to play in Croke Park at this time of the year, so we expect them to come with all guns blazing and we are ready for that and ready for a tough battle.

DD: In years gone by Dublin would have played in places like Naomh Mearnóg and other grounds around the city as well, to have back to back home league games in Croke Park is a sign that things are definitely moving in the right direction at last with the promotion of the game.

Sorcha Farrelly: Absolutely it’s such an important thing, I’ve said it a lot since the All Ireland final it’s fantastic to have those record numbers in September but what we need is to get people out to see Ladies Football games all year round.

They are a great spectacle, they are great to watch, so to get these opportunities to play in Croke Park in front of a good crowd is important and I think that’s where we will get people to come to other games if they see us playing in that arena and putting on a performance, we just hope it will get the numbers up in other venues as well.

DD: Just on the team we have known for sometime that Noelle is now working down in Cork and recently applied for a club transfer down there as well, she hasn’t featured so far in the league, is she going to be part of this league panel do you think before the end of the campaign, obviously the commitment of traveling from Cork is a big enough one.

Sorcha Farrelly: Yes we hope so, she has just moved down to Cork and is settling into a new job and we are just giving her that time but we would hope as some stage, she has been a tremendous servant to Dublin over the last number of years while holding down such a big job, so we are just giving her that time to settle and get use to her new position down in Cork and look at things then.

DD: Playing club football in Cork if the transfer goes through which by all accounts it will will certainly benefit her anyway.

Sorcha Farrelly: Absolutely, Cork i mean nobody needs to say they are a fantastic Ladies football county and it will be the highest of standards that she will be playing, so it’s great she will be getting those games, obviously she is a Dub you want her playing in Dublin but look it’s great for her and once she is playing football that’s the important thing for us.

DD: Sinead Aherne the Dublin skipper hasn’t featured either in this league campaign, are there possibilities of her having a run on Saturday against the old enemy.

Sorcha Farrelly: Maybe, she will be there on the bench anyway, some players just took a bit of time out at the start of the year and for us it was great as it gave other girls a chance as we say to get competitive game time.

But obviously having Sinead back at training has been a massive lift, she is such a leader to all the girls, she is a born leader on this team so it’s great to have her back.

To listen to the audio interview just click play on the audio player above.