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'Living with Dean makes sense', says football ace Niamh

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Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock celebrate after the Girls in Blue beat Cork in this year’s All-Ireland final. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock celebrate after the Girls in Blue beat Cork in this year’s All-Ireland final. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock celebrate after the Girls in Blue beat Cork in this year’s All-Ireland final. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dublin ladies footballer Niamh McEvoy and her Dubs star boyfriend Dean Rock moved in together for love of each other - and their sport.

Niamh has just helped the ladies to bag a second All-Ireland title in a row, and with the couple both training hard year-round, living together has made things a lot easier for them.

"When we weren't living together and training on alternate nights it was tough, so living together has kind of helped," Niamh told the Herald.

Hectic

"When our training schedules are heavy we're still getting to hang out, which probably wouldn't have been the case in the past. It can get a bit hectic in the summer."

The Dubs power couple both know nerves can start to rise in the lead-up to an important game.

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Niamh and Dean say living together has made life easier

Niamh and Dean say living together has made life easier

Niamh and Dean say living together has made life easier

"We understand the circumstances and understand the levels of excited nervousness that might be there the week ahead of a big game" said Niamh (27).

"It's a nice environment to live in, playing a high level of sport.

"Having someone that understands and knows what to say - and what not to say - on the week of a game is good."

St Sylvester's club player Niamh moved into a house with Dean in Malahide, where she's from.

Winning her second All-Ireland was something special for the primary school teacher, who's currently undertaking a master's in business.

She said the win was her way of giving back to her family - and Dean - for the support they've always shown her.

"Both sides of my family are really, really supportive and they enjoy it," she said.

"It was a really nice occasion that night at the banquet to have my close family, my siblings, my mam, my dad, and obviously Dean there.

"They've been there supporting me for the three defeats before these two wins so they know what it's like from both sides and they're delighted for me.

"I'm glad finally we have got over the line and it's nice to give them back something. They've sacrificed a lot over the years."

Niamh has enjoyed two weeks off since the final, but still has five league matches left to play with her club.

"I've had a substantial break. Getting straight back into club football after the final for a lot of the girls was tough," she said.

In January, the Girls in Blue will be back training four nights a week in DCU.

Niamh said there won't be any talk of three-in-a-row - the book for 2018 will be closed and a new set of targets drawn up for next season.

Attendance

There was a record attendance of 50,141 at this year's final, and more under-age girls' teams starting up.

When Niamh first pulled on her football boots she had to play for the boys' side.

"People are watching it as more of a sport - people used to just see a final as an occasion," she said.

"Now people actually talk about the players and how they're playing - I definitely feel it's getting a lot of attention and support."


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