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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 17 October, 2018
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2011 Dublin All-Ireland winner looks set to join reigning champions' coaching ticket

If ratified at a Dublin LGFA meeting next month, Paul Casey will work as defence coach with Mick Bohan’s side.

Paul Casey celebrates Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland win.
Paul Casey celebrates Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland win.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DUBLIN LADIES SENIOR football manager Mick Bohan hopes that 2011 All-Ireland winner Paul Casey will be part of his backroom team for their upcoming campaign.

Subject to ratification at a Dublin LGFA meeting next month, the former Dublin defender could come on board as defence coach with the 2017 All-Ireland senior champions.

Involved with an underage inter-county development squad at the moment, the Lucan Sarsfields clubman has indicated that he would be willing to commit to the fold on a part-time basis for the Lidl National League Division 1 campaign.

If his appointment is confirmed next month, Casey would work closely with Sorcha Farrelly and Paul Gilheaney.

He’s no stranger to former Clare senior football coach and Clontarf clubman Bohan either. The pair are friendly, having worked together with both Dublin City University (DCU) and Lucan in the past.

“Paul would have been one of our heroes on that quest for Sam in 2011,” Bohan reminded the media at the announcement of Gourmet Food Parlour as the new sponsor of the Higher Education Committee (HEC) third-level championships.

“When you see guys at that level wanting to get involved in the women’s game, I think it’s really good for the game.

“I think anyone coming in from the men’s game to women’s football brings that extra little bit of savvy and nuance and whatever else.”

Bohan has spoken out quite a bit in the past about how the standards in Ladies football need to be raised: ‘If you want people to watch you play, then play. Raise the standard,’ he told The42 in July.

Gourmet Food Parlour to sponsor the LGFA Higher Education championships Dublin manager Mick Bohan. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

And he echoed those words while speaking about the upcoming double-headers announced by the LGFA in recent weeks.

“The profile is building the whole time but we keep saying it; there’s an onus on girls to perform. Nobody will go and watch them just because they’re women. It’s a sport. You’ve to go and play. If you perform, people will come in the gates.

“I do (feel the standards have improved). If I wasn’t in the game, you’d be seen to be knocking the women’s game but when you’re involved in it, you’ve a little bit more of a licence to say it.

“I’m not here to knock it but I am here to try and drive standards from our end. I do see them going up, but I still feel there’s a huge void,” he added, saying that basic skills and fitness were still behind.

In terms of the panel, there has been some movement. Bohan currently has a 43-woman squad and aims to hold that for the duration of the league and cut it afterwards.

Siobhán McGrath — a central player when the Sky Blues were crowned All-Ireland senior champions for the first time in 2010 – has returned to the set-up after some time in Australia.

Former minor star Muireann Ní Scanaill and Na Fianna’s Lucy Collins are among others to rejoin the group after some time away.

On the contrary, Dublin will be without the services of two-time All-Ireland and All-Star winning defender Rachel Ruddy for 2018, who has opted to travel. Panelist Aoife Curran and sub goalkeeper Emer Ní Éafa have also stepped away.

After a challenge match on Wednesday night against DCU’s O’Connor Cup team, Bohan smiles that that glorious September day in Croke Park is but a memory now.

“We had it handed to us in small pieces. It certainly brought us back down to earth!

Gourmet Food Parlour to sponsor the LGFA Higher Education championships Gourmet Food Parlour will sponsor the LGFA Higher Education championships. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

“September’s gone. We’ve enjoyed our time but it’s a new season. There’s a queue of people waiting for us I’d say.

“It’s great and it’s fresh. We’ll use the National League like we did last year. We’ll chase it but with a view to seeing as many of them (players) as we can.”

With the kick-off of the 2018 season fast approaching, Dublin are preparing for battle in Donegal on 28 January.

Their campaign opens with a tough test — Donegal are last year’s Division 1 league beaten finalists and Maxi Curran, who worked with Jim McGuinness in the past, has taken over at the helm there.

“Very tough,” he concedes. “I’m sure they’re moving well. We would have rated Donegal highly last year. They’re a fine outfit.

“They’ve a new management team and that always brings a bit of a spring. It’s a challenge.”

But one they’re relishing, no doubt.

Gourmet Food Parlour are the official nutritional partners with the Dublin GAA County Board and own restaurants in Swords, Santry, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire. One of the largest sports catering companies in Ireland, they also work with DCU, FAI, IRFU, Swim Ireland and Special Olympics to name a few.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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Emma Duffy

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