Finnegan’s awakening

by James Hendicott
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FINGALLIANS star Sinead Finnegan lives and breathes football, not least because she’s part of the PR team that promotes the ladies’ game on behalf of its sponsors when she’s not out on the field.
It’s been an interesting road for Finnegan, taking a pointed aside in a video she starred in last year, in which he makes an articulate public statement in defence of attitudes towards women in sport.
‘You’re Good For A Girl’ was Finnegan’s sister’s transition year project, so she jokes that she “had no choice,” about the footage but is quick to emphasise how things have changed around the ladies’ game in recent years.
“I see first hand how the sponsors care about the women,” she told GazetteSport. “It’s not just about having the name on the jersey as a token gesture.
“They really put the women front and centre with the men, and include us in the advertising. They’re creating role models for younger girls to see.
“They’re not just spending money on sponsorship, but AIG put us on their signs and Lidl have banners up and came down to training the other night with bags of groceries for all of us to make sure we’re eating right ahead of the final. It’s really cool; they don’t have to do that, but they make it easy for us. It’s opening people’s eyes; you can’t miss ladies’ football”
The final against Cork on Sunday, of course, is now the key focus. “I think it’s time we got one over them, third time lucky as they say,” Finnegan said ahead of the game.
“They’ve won 10 of 11 All Ireland’s, and you have to respect that. They’re a really ruthless team. We had them beaten in 2014 and they came back and won.
“I’m really happy that we’re getting the chance to play them again. Our team is in a really good place. Last year we had lost a lot of players and all of those girls are performing so well.
“Sinead Aherne was in Australia last year, and she’s back and playing out of her skin. Leah Caffrey was in America, and she’s returned and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her playing so well.
“Leah and Sinead mark each other in training, and they kill each other. But it’s great because they’re improving each other. It’s a really good battle.
“I’m looking forward to the match,” she adds. “I’m not nervous about it. I think if we play at our best, we can do it. There’s been a lot of success at underage level in recent years, and those girls are making an impact on our team now.
“Those girls bring experience of winning and a different dynamic to the team. Lauren Magee, for example, would run through a brick wall for you.”
The focus, is intense, Finnegan explains. “The last two years I didn’t look at the crowd once, I didn’t look for my mum. You recognise that it’s something a bit special, but you need to concentrate.”
Focus, and it’s clear Finnegan believes Dublin can snatch that second All-Ireland.

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