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A boost with meals after training and Croke Park games but still chasing more progress

Sinéad Goldrick hopes there will be further promotion of ladies football.

Dublin ladies footballer Sinead Goldrick.
Dublin ladies footballer Sinead Goldrick.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE DRAMATIC CHAIN of events that saw the Irish women’s soccer team recently threaten strike action over their treatment from the FAI, didn’t escape the attention of other leading Irish sports women.

Sinéad Goldrick has picked up five All-Star awards in her time with the Dublin senior ladies side and has appeared in the last three All-Ireland senior finals.

She is clear that their Dublin camp don’t face similar issues to those that forced the Irish soccer side to resort to such action.

Improvements such as providing meals after training and the historic decision in March to stage one of their league games in Croke Park – as a curtain raiser to the Gaelic football tie between Dublin and Mayo – are to be welcomed but Goldrick hopes that further promotion can take place.

“I definitely think our standards (have risen). I’ve been playing for the last 8 years, now we’re getting food after training. We get decent, healthy food.

“I’m working full time now. You might be in work at 8, leaving at 5, going to training. So even that little food afterwards is great because you’d be travelling home.

“I’m training in DCU, living in Cabinteely. That’s a good 45 minutes and then I’d be trying to cook something so it’s just those little wins and it makes a huge difference to you as a player.

“I was looking at the (Irish soccer) girls and I felt they didn’t want to be in that position. They just felt there was an injustice.

“They probably felt they weren’t getting anywhere so they felt that was their only option but personally looking at it from the outside, I had huge respect for what those players did.

“We’ve a good setup in Dublin. It’s just you want that public exposure, you want that media to have an interest in it and tell the story of the ladies gaelic footballers as opposed to just games.

“Again it’s up to the players to give those opportunities, to give those stories. I think there’s 180,000 playing ladies football.

“There’s so many clubs all over Ireland playing. I’ve seen huge improvements from when I was playing five years ago, the standards have increased.

“If you look at all the opportunities or stuff that you don’t have, I think that just might make you end up not enjoying the game. As a player I want to play and enjoy what I’m doing and I am.”

AIG Heroes Event Dublin ladies footballer Sinéad Goldrick was in Bluebell Community Centre today at the AIG Heroes event. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

“It was great with the Dublin-Mayo match and I’d be hoping that there’d be more to come next year.

“Just given those opportunities that are easy wins for people if they’re going to watch the hurling, they’d go and watch the camogie.

“It’s just about leveraging those opportunities. Especially in the league there can be double-headers.

“If you’re looking at it from an entertainment perspective, it was a high quality game. It was the first league game to be played in Croke Park. That’s the kind of steps, you want to be seeing that happening more often.”

Cora Staunton claims a high ball Dublin and Mayo ladies footballers battle for possession. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

2016 saw prolonged campaigns on the county and club front for Goldrick but there were crushing disappointments on All-Ireland final day in September with Dublin and in December with Foxrock-Cabinteely.

She took some time off to get a hamstring injury sorted and feels easing herself back into action has provided a mental relief ahead of the 2017 campaign.

“I’ve been out for six months. I played five minutes in the Cork (semi-final) game, that was my first league game.

“The last two years, we’ve had a very long season with Dublin and then our club reached the semi-final (in 2015) and then the final last year. In terms of recovery, I didn’t have that much of a break.

“At the start of the league I just took time out to focus on my rehab. Management were very supportive and all the girls.

“The break I had with an injury gave my head a little break. I finally got to switch off. You’re watching the training and remembering why you want to be playing.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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