Bohan: Criticism of Dublin ladies' dominance is hard to take
Whether it's three-in-a-row or five-in-a-row, it's hard for any Dublin football fanatic to drown out the voices of dissent this week, those who see their football dominance as a juggernaut that's dragging both the men's and ladies' games into crisis.
But Mick Bohan isn't having it. The Dublin ladies football manager - who previously worked with Jim Gavin's squad - believes such talk is wide of the mark. "It's amazing how people see domination: Cork won 10 All-Irelands out of 11, we win three or four in our history and we're seen as dominating. We won nothing in 14s, 16s or minor this year," he said.
The closest any team got to the Dublin ladies this summer was the six-point loss suffered by Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final, but Bohan is playing down his side's supremacy ahead of Sunday's clash with Galway in the decider, for which they are nine-point favourites with the bookies.
"We've got thrown in a little bit with the lads which is great in one regard - the connection has been incredibly healthy - but all these things come to an end."
Bohan said the criticism of Dublin's dominance is "hard to take" and believes it undermines the effort of his players. "It's just so dismissive of the work that goes into it, and equally of the people that are trying to take the prize off you. I feel at times people don't think about it before they actually say it. You just think about the hours and days and nights that you've left your own kids at home, and then everyone just throws it out that (success) just happens, and it doesn't. It's relentless time, month after month.
"You don't get here just because you might have the three or four best (players). There's so much beyond that. All you have to do is look across the water at the (Premier League): we see guys paid millions and they can't perform on a regular basis and why? Because it doesn't really matter to them. If you look at teams who get back here on a regular basis, look what this means to them if they're willing to almost put everything else on hold to be successful."
Dublin will be without Nicole Owens after the star forward re-injured knee ligaments against Cork, which forced her to undergo surgery. "The work she put in to rehab the tear was just incredible," said Bohan. "We felt that she deserved that opportunity (to play against Cork)."
Bohan believes there is little risk of complacency this weekend. "You wouldn't believe how humble our group are and it says an awful lot about them that they still have that hunger to keep revisiting the well. We have tried to get this message across that the occasion can swallow you up but, equally, you don't wish these days away. These are really, truly, special times."
TG4 will broadcast a special 90-minute programme previewing this year's All-Ireland Ladies Football finals at 8.15pm on Saturday.