Dublin’s Ladies Footballers are gearing up for a three-in-a-row of All-Ireland Senior titles this Sunday, but Thomas Davis player Siobhan McGrath knows that Galway won’t make it easy at Croke Park (4pm).
Four points separated the sides when they met in the group stages of the league back in March, with Dublin prevailing on a 2-8 to 1-7 score-line.
“It’s always been ‘tit-for-tat’ with Galway, similar to the way it is with Cork,” McGrath told the Dublin Gazette.
“They are a very, very good side who have had massive underage success. So that’s driving them on and they have confidence.
“People say they might be inexperienced, but they actually aren’t. They are coming through as winners, so they are a good side.”
The 31-year old picked up the TG4 ‘Player of the Match’ award last time out in the last-four win over Cork.
McGrath says playing both semi-finals at Croke Park, has left a real level playing field heading into the final.
“Now everyone has the experience of playing there. It’s only three weeks ago so it’s not going to be unfamiliar to anybody.
“I don’t think there can be any advantage or disadvantage to anyone playing in Croke Park. We’ve all had the experience now.”
Midfielder McGrath missed out on Dublin’s All-Ireland success two years ago, but was back with a bang in 2018 – refreshed after her travels abroad.
“When I came back to Ireland, I missed this, I missed the competitiveness, the drive and the discipline and everything that this is,” she said.
“Then I came back into the Dublin panel and it’s everything you love about playing football. You make great friends, you meet great people and it’s just a great environment to be a part of.”
Success breeds success, and McGrath agrees that having that winning mentality can be an unstoppable force.
“When you are winning it builds, and it keeps building,” she said.
“Everyone is pushing each other and it’s so competitive in the pack. The more competitive it is you are pushing each other, and everyone is becoming better in themselves.”
McGrath says one of the keys for keeping things fresh is the addition of some different players each year, and she points to some strong young talent which has impressed this Summer.
“The likes of Niamh Hetherton and Caoimhe O’Connor coming in have been brilliant. And then there’s been others like Oonagh Whyte who have been on the panel a while, and have really broken through this year.
“That’s great to see and it’s just constantly building.
“It’s about being patient as well, and if you are patient you’ll get in there.”
The Senior decider is preceded by the Junior (11.45am) and Intermediate (1.45pm) finals, on a busy day of action at GAA Headquarters.