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Denise: defeat to spur us on

It is the biggest day in any GAA player's career. The All-Ireland final is where everyone wants to be. With it comes the hype and euphoria associated with the build-up to the showcase event.

For the Dublin ladies footballers, it will be no different as they ready themselves for Sunday's final with Tyrone. However, Jackies captain Denise Masterson has said that they have been trying to keep training routines as normal as possible over the past number of weeks.

"Obviously it is a bit different coming up to an All-Ireland final," she explains.

"Things have been a bit sharper and quicker. But there is a great atmosphere in the camp and we have been keeping things as normal as possible. Everyone seems to be in great spirits."

Tyrone have beaten the Dubs on the last two occasions they met. In this year's league the red hand county won the fixture by the minimum of margins. In the 2008 quarter-final however, the Ulster side delivered a demoralising hammering to Gerry McGill's charges.


Masterson says these defeats will definitely be on the players' minds heading into Sunday, but she is quick to point out that they will be used as a motivation tool in their quest to go one better than last season's final loss to Cork.

"I suppose it is in the back of our minds, but only to spur us on," she said.

"I don't think any of the girls will be particularly fearful or daunted by past results and it is a case of putting right what happened before."

Another motivating factor will obviously be the painful memories of that defeat by Cork, a point echoed by Masterson.

"The disappointment of last year will stand to us," she added. "We know how it feels to lose a final so remembering that will help us to remain focus and hopefully it will come right this time around."

The energetic midfielder, holder of five Leinster championship medals, was also generous in her praise of the Cork side who have dominated the ladies' game for much of the last decade before Tyrone ended that dominance this season.

"What Cork have done for ladies' football can't be understated," she said.

"They definitely raised the bar and everyone else knew they needed to get to that level if they wanted to win an All-Ireland. The standard has definitely improved because of that.

"The competition this year is a lot closer, but I think that is down to the improvements made by the other teams as they knew they needed to reach the required level."

Masterson will be hoping she will be the first non-Cork woman to receive the Brendan Martin Cup since Galway were victorious in 2004.

For ticket details for Sunday's game see dublinladiesgaelic.ie.