Dublin Manager Mick Bohan Looking Forward To The Challenge Of Unearthing Or Developing Players During The 2020 Lidl National Football League

Three in a row All Ireland winning Dublin Senior Ladies football manager Mick Bohan spoke about his excitement for the start of the new season at this weeks official launch of the 2020 Lidl national football league.

Mick is a big fan of the NFL and is relishing the challenge involved in unearthing or developing talent during the competition.

“We are only back at it two weeks but i am excited all over again said Mick, lots of new faces, some old friends back with us in the panel this year and obviously some new girls once again, so I have to say I find this time of the year quite exciting, the whole journey begins and who you can unearth or develop or whatever so the challenge for coaches is really high in this point in time so I enjoy the NFL.”

Like all successful teams, to stay at the top it’s important for coaches and managers to continually tweak aspects of the team each year, not only to keep things fresh, but also keep the opposition thinking and although Mick Bohan agrees that you constantly have to tweak things the most important element is the basics of the game.

“Yes it is about tweaking it for sure, but as long as I’m involved in sport there is one key message I keep repeating to myself and that’s never forget the basics, the basics in the game will never change, catching, kicking, scoring and tackling they are always going to be paramount to the success of a team.

“Your obviously going to tweak the way you play at different stages and for different types of opposition, I suppose the way the year finished last year with ourselves and Galway, I’d say both teams left the pitch regardless of the result saying that they were going to deal with situation better the next time, that’s certainly been sitting on my mind since we left.”

Since Mick took the reins as Dublin Senior ladies football manager he has always given plenty of game time to new players to the panel during the league if gives Mick and the players themselves a chance to see if they can step up to the plate and it will be the same again during the 2020 Lidl national football league.

“Yes we will be doing it all over again, some of those situations will be forced upon us and others won’t, I really genuinely look forward to that because when your putting players out into that cauldron there isn’t any hiding place and it’s lovely to see them step up and those that it doesn’t go as well for go back to the training ground and see if they can find something in themselves.

“That’s why I suppose the Eabha Rutledge’s of this world give you such a lift and they are probably the times in sport – they don’t always stand out as much as that situation but they are the things in sport when your career is finished you look back on that you remember much more so than the silverware.”

Squads tend to change season to season, players leave the panel for various reasons and new faces join in their place, Mick Bohan this year is delighted to have five familiar faces in the shape of Leah Caffrey, Laura McGinley, Sarah McCaffrey, Dee Murphy and Rebecca McDonnell back in the panel.

“Delighted to have them back and as much as it’s great to have them back it’s encouraging for us to know that people want to be in this environment and that actually from a point of view of creating that healthy culture I’d be very pleased with the way our support team and coaching staff go about their business and that’s the way players feel, that even if they decide that they want to take a year out to go travelling or otherwise that this is somewhere they want to come back to.”

Dublin kick-off their 2020 Lidl national football league campaign this weekend against Tipperary with the game taking place in Ballyboden St Endas.

The game is being billed as the battle of the champions as it’s pits the Senior All Ireland champions against the Intermediate All Ireland champions and Mick is expecting a big test on Sunday.

“ I believe Tipperary are back training since October so that will be interesting to see, they will certainly have a bit of legs on us at this stage, but they are a fine team and obviously they want to lay a mark down on senior football and probably got caught the last time with the whole relegation thing.

“Realistically I’d say Meath are probably biting the tongues but probably should be intermediate champions if things had of gone the way they should gone and Tipperary had retained their senior status, but that’s the way it is and obviously they have some really really good individual players so it will be a big test and I’d say they can’t wait to get a crack at us.

Again this season Dublin will have a couple of double headers with the men’s team, one in Castlebar against Mayo and the other in Croke Park against old rivals Cork.

Dublin played Mayo two years ago in the same venue as part of a double header and Mick said it was the best experience he had with the group in terms of the atmosphere and hopes these double headers will continue long into the future.

“The Castlebar fixture (two years ago) has to be the best experience I’ve had with this group from a point of view of a cauldron to walk into, there must have been eight or nine thousand people at half-time the time we played there.

“Obviously they come out in their droves when ever the men are travelling but that double header in Castlebar is really appetising and obviously then facing Cork before the lads game in ‘Croker’ is great and long may those double headers continue even when people aren’t watching or supervising that we make those good decisions.”

In the past teams could get away with a slow start to the league and maybe lose a game or two and still make the knockout stages of the competition with the top four teams contesting the semi finals, but this season there are no semi’s and it’s just the top two teams who will contest against each other in the league final.

Mick Bohan says that completely changes the whole dynamic of the competition and an early loss could see a team chasing the pack, but even if Dublin were to lose their opener against Tipperary Mick says they can’t lose sight of what they want to achieve and even if outside the group people are ringing alarm bells, inside they have to make sure they are not.

“Interesting because this time when your immediately into a final as opposed to going into a semi-final that changes the whole thing, in previous years all you had to do was finish in the top four, that’s changed now, now your finishing in a top two, so all of a sudden you lose one game and you could be in trouble.

“You start off obviously with the likelihood that there is going to be three or four teams in their first game and they are already chasing it, but again even if that happens us in the first game we can’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve and while people outside may be ringing alarm bells – it’s very important inside we are not.”

Mick also spoke about the return of some injured players, the challenge of preparations for the All Ireland series with no senior Leinster championship this season and much,much more, you can catch the full interview in the video above.