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Leah keeps football in the family

LEAH CAFFREY is wearing her father's jersey from the 1983 Leinster Football final. John went on to help the Dubs win Sam that year. One of the Twelve Apostles.

"What's it like having a famous father?" Leah (above) is asked upstairs in Parnell Park. "Is he famous?" comes the reply.

She goes on to say that he is very supportive. And then there's the uncle. She sometimes gives Pillar a ring. "He's good for the advice as well."

She has fond thoughts of the family heading to the Cusack Stand to cheer on Pillar and the Dubs. Now the Caffrey clan will be gathering to support her in Sunday's TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Ladies Football final against Cork.

Leah came onto the senior squad last year. She won the All-Ireland Minor title under the guidance of Fintan O'Curry.

"A lot of us came through the ranks. Everybody in the senior squad was very welcoming. We all had the one common goal."


Reaching the final has seen the bunting flying on the Mobhi Road. "It's very exciting. Waiting is the worst bit.

"It's about playing the game and not the occasion. We have to focus in on ourselves and make sure we are right for the game."

She has played in Croke Park before in the Dublin Cumann na mBunscol finals and in mini-games. "You have to try and get the best performance out of yourself. I'll prepare well and forget everything else."

John will be kicking every ball. He never thought he'd see his daughter playing in an All-Ireland final.

"Not in a million years," he admits. "Twenty years ago, ladies football in Dublin was not at such an advanced level.

"TG4 have done a fabulous job for the sport. They have given it great prominence. Everytime you look at a match, the standards are improving."

Leah, a tidy, competent defender, is playing her part. "It's a big deal, but Leah is taking it all in her stride. She is very determined and dedicated," says John.