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Ryan enjoying life at 'Boden

DAVID RYAN draws a wide smile. It's his first year managing Ballyboden St Enda's, the most successful Dublin lady footballers of them all.

"Ten county championships, including the nine-in-a-row, six Leinsters and two All-Irelands. So, no pressure then," he quips.

He's enjoying the gig. He has his son, Dylan, and Declan O'Brien with him. "So far so good, but ask me at the end of the season," he jokes.

The trio have steered 'Boden into the Tesco Senior Championship semi-final. In the vital match, they overcame Clanna Gael Fontenoy.

"It was a terrific performance from the girls against Clanns, especially with three minors on the pitch and two on the bench. It was a dogged, spirited display, particularly in the second half.

Stop-start

"As all clubs know, this is not the ideal time of year with exams. We had girls doing their Leaving Cert and others doing college exams. We have been unfortunate with injuries, so it has been a bit of a stop-start season, but we have managed.

"We lost our first Cup game but the league form is good and we had a couple of decent wins in the Leinster League, so we are happy enough."

Over the years, David has become a fan of ladies football. He likes its pureness and honesty of spirit. "In some ways, it is more enjoyable to watch than the men's game," he said.

The genial Gemma Fay is one of the iconic figures of the sport in the capital.

Her all-action displays made people sit up and take notice.

She captained Dublin. And she's still delivering at the heart of this 'Boden side. Against Clanns, when 'Boden trailed and badly needed inspiration, Gemma grabbed the ball by its laces and raced off into the distance to score the most critical point of the match.

That score came straight from the throw-in to the second half. It was a statement of intent, and it set the tempo for Boden's victory. All at Páirc Uí Mhurchú are pleased that Sarah O'Brien has now been called into the Dublin senior squad. She has been impressing with the club and the Dublin U21s.

Sarah is another exciting figure in the long and distinguished list of Boden Braves that have decorated the Dublin blue.


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