** Dublin star Lyndsey Davey at Skerries Harbour. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
The door is very much open for Lyndsey Davey to continue with the Dublin ladies footballers as she contemplates whether she can be part of the setup for an 18th season.
Speaking on Tuesday, she said a lot will depend on when clarity arrives over the format of the 2021 championship and how it aligns with her work.
Davey, 31, had originally planned to call time on her remarkable career – encompassing 10 All-Ireland finals, five senior championships and five All-Stars – last autumn.
But last year’s condensed season aligned perfectly with her work schedule and, should something similar present itself this year, the Skerries Harps woman is open to return.
“There’s no decision having to be made yet because we don’t know what the season will look like,” Davey said.
“When Mick [Bohan] and I talked last week, his main focus was on how I was getting on because it is such a stressful time for everyone. There’s been absolutely no pressure [to make a decision].
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“He just wants me to look after my body for the moment and it will be a conversation to have further down the line once we figure out how the season will be rolled out.”
Indeed, 2020’s move to a winter championship worked perfectly for the roving forward as she started her paramedic training which worked on a nine-to-five basis which allowed her to train.
However, now the fire-fighter is back on a shift basis and can no longer switch her shifts to suit her football schedule due to Covid arrangements.
The delay, however, in getting the season up and running does work well with Davey’s physical requirements.
“From a body perspective, these couple of months will definitely give the body a chance to recover.
“Having that couple of months in the summer to get the body right paid dividends and worked massively for me come the championship. If I was to commit to another season, I have no doubt that would be the same as I have extra time to work on any little niggles to get them right.”
As for the overall panel, she hailed Bohan’s ability to keep a large portion of the panel together for so long; for Davey and Sinead Aherne, it seems to be an annual opening question as to whether they will continue on.
The bonds he and the team have kept in tact mean any decision will not be taken lightly.
“He’s managed to keep us all together for the past four years which is massive. Keeping that familiarity has been key. When he came in, he took it back to basics and then winning becomes a habit.
“We have grown in confidence from that and the ability to get ourselves out of trouble and that is something he has instilled in us.
“There’s such a massive team bond. The memories we create off the pitch is part of it. We have such great fun and he’s really good being about the collective. It’s hard thing to step away from because you know what you are going to miss out on.”
She also reflected on receiving expenses in 2020 for the first time since making her debut in 2004. It came in the wake of an eye-opening report which pitched the number of ladies Gaelic footballers receiving travel expenses for representing their county at 7%.
A pot of €700,000 was subsequently made available which Davey sees as a strong start while she understands why the men’s equivalent currently sits four times higher.
“It was a nice thing to get and something I have never received in all my years playing with Dublin. For some of the girls, it is a real financial burden to play county but you do need the finances there to fund it.
“We play for the love of the game and are not looking to get paid. But playing county, you shouldn’t have that burden just getting to training and matches. You have to start somewhere and hopefully it is something that will continue and we won’t step backwards.
“The LGFA obviously get less compared to the men but it does come down to what is being brought in from games. If you look at the men’s matches, there are massive crowds all the time. For us, it is only from the semi-final and finals when we get the big crowds. As those things improve, the more crowds we can draw, the more funds which will follow.”
AIG Insurance is delighted to partner with TG4 and the LGFA to help showcase the Teams of the 2020 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships and the AIG Goal of the Year competition. Dublin star, Lyndsey Davey is photographed at Skerries Harbour ahead of the event.