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Dublin continue to give game-time in bid to build depth

Mick Bohan made 10 changes for the game against Tipp and the team-sheet is likely to feature some more musical chairs in Portlaoise for the match against Mayo on Saturday night

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Nicole Owens got the only goal against Tipperary – her pace and finishing make her a valuable asset for Mick Bohan’s team. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Nicole Owens got the only goal against Tipperary – her pace and finishing make her a valuable asset for Mick Bohan’s team. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Nicole Owens got the only goal against Tipperary – her pace and finishing make her a valuable asset for Mick Bohan’s team. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

DUBLIN were quick on the buzzer. Into the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final. With one lifeline still remaining.

Out at the Naul, they overcame Cavan in fine style. And they took the bus to Templetuohy last Sunday to produce another assured display.

They won, 1-11 to 0-6. Tipp had lost their opening game to Mayo by 10 points. They put extra locks on the back door for the visit of the Leinster champions.

The hosts were diligent in their work. Dublin had to graft for scores. But they are good at that. They are a team that prefer to keep gently ringing the bell rather than breaking down the door.

As Carla Rowe said: “Patience is a big part of football. And there are days when you have to take your time to work the ball and wait for the openings to appear.”

Nicole Owens got the only goal. She got two at the home of Clann Mhuire. One of which would have certainly won the Goal of the Month. And maybe even the Goal of the Season. She can rattle over the turf. And in sport, pace is what brings people to their feet.

Dublin made 10 changes for the game against Tipp. And the team-sheet is likely to feature some more musical chairs in Portlaoise for the match against Mayo on Saturday night.

That was always going to be the way for Mick Bohan. Game-time is such a wise investment. And with the Dubs, it’s all about keeping an eye on the ball. And on the future.

In Bohan’s view, it’s all about the big picture. It’s not about adding another piece of silver to the trophy cabinet.

“You always want to be as successful as you can,” he reflects. “But it just doesn’t come down to winning things.

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“In the National League, our aim was to play as many games as we could in order to give as many players as we could game-time. And the seven-game stretch that the National League offered is a great opportunity for developing players.

“For us, it’s all about developing players. And if you don’t play players in games you are never going to develop them. We were happy that we got the fourth game in the National League because it allowed us to go deeper into our squad.

“There were times when we struggled in the league, but we knew the league is the environment where you can give players that vital match-day experience.”

Top spot in group up for grabs

Dublin v Mayo on Saturday night. O’Moore Park (7.15). Both sides already through to the All-Ireland senior quarter-final.

A dead rubber? No sirree. Live on the tele. And part of a big double bill that will see Cork face Waterford at 5pm in Group D.

Whoever finishes on top of Group A, Dublin’s group, will play the runners-up in Group D where Donegal, having finished their matches, lie in second spot.

Dublin and Mayo are on six points each. The Dubs have a superior scoring difference of +27 to Mayo’s +11.

Dublin will be keen to maintain their sharp form. Two handsome wins in the kitty. Mick Bohan will look on this match as another chance to allow players to step onto the big stage.

“It’ all about giving players the chance to see can they put their hand up to claim a starting place as we go forward,” stated Bohan.

Mayo have also two wins in the bank. A comfortable victory over Tipperary the first day but they had to toil for their one-point win over Cavan last Sunday.

Cavan recovered from eight points down to level the match only to be pipped at the post.

As their manager, Gerry Moane, indicated at Clann Mhuire following their game against Dublin last week, there’s character and potential in the side. And they certainly proved that.

The Dubs are hoping to enter the last-eight saloon with three wins, and the bonus of so many different players getting used to the fabric of the shirt.

Ciara Trant features on new short film series

Dublin goalkeeper, Ciara Trant, is back on the silver screen.

She is in the new AIG series that’s called 'For Times Like These’.

Trant is one of five AIG ambassadors chosen for the role in which they will feature in a short film about their footballing lives.

Trant has proven herself as one of the top ’keepers in the country. A reliable, regular presence in Mick Bohan’s team.

The first episode featured Meath’s Vikki Wall. And it underlined how far the Royals have come.

Coming off the ropes to win the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship before following it up the next year with the big one – the Brendan Martin.
She chats about the difficult years. “Ringing people on the day of the game trying to get them to play for Meath because we hadn’t enough players. People turning down the chance to wear the Meath jersey.”

She reflected on the famous day when they beat the Dubs and shocked the country.

“We felt such elation at the final whistle. But the elation wasn’t just about that one match. It was the journey that we had been on. And all the losses we had experienced long the way.

“You feel such pride for every player that wore the Meath jersey over the years.”

The other AIG ambassadors in the series are Kathryn Sullivan (Mayo), Aishling O’Connell (Kerry) and Aimee Macken (Armagh).


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