Dublin City University was represented strongly represented in this year’s All-Ireland Senior Ladies’ Football final at Croke Park on Sunday, September 25th.
Siobhán Woods, a student of psychology and her teammates, Emer Ní Éafa, Emma Colgan, Dee Murphy, Leah Caffrey and Muireann Ní Scanaill played in Croke Park that day, something Woods says was a dream come true.
“Playing in Croke Park is a fantastic experience. It’s what everyone dreams of from when they start playing as a kid, and obviously it’s always an honour to play for your county,” the Raheny native said.
Dublin lost out by just one point but controversy surrounded the lack of Hawk Eye on the day and overshadowed the game.
The Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) has since released a statement claiming that Hawk Eye was not used to ensure a level playing field at all grounds.
However, despite the disappointment in this, Woods is determined that her team will bounce back.
“Unfortunately the day didn’t go the way we had imagined, and it was an extremely disappointing loss and one that’s difficult to take. But that’s sport. We’ve been in this position before and we will drive on again next year.”
While the lack of Hawk Eye highlights the inequality of the game on a national level, and at college level, Woods has credited DCU as a level playing field when it comes to GAA.
“Ladies football receives fantastic support from the GAA Academy in DCU. There’s no disparity between how ourselves and the men’s team are treated, which is a testament to everyone involved in the Academy.”
Playing with DCU is great. It definitely has its similarities to county football in terms of intensity and commitment. The standard is always extremely high and it’s getting more competitive each year.”
“Where county and college football vary more is probably the transition each year, with people graduating and freshers starting out there’s always a chance year to year.”
“It’s great to be playing with different girls from all over the country.”
DCU’s senior team enjoyed a successful first season under Stephen Maxwell’s tutelage – they brought home the Division One crown and reached the O’Connor Cup semi-final only to be beaten the University of Limerick’s juggernaut squad.
Image credit: Sportsfile
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