Brophy aims to complete Foxrock-Cabinteely's 'surreal' rise from Junior 'E' with All-Ireland glory
Sarah Brophy remembers the early days, slogging it out as a footballer in Dublin's Junior 'E' grades.
But tomorrow, she'll captain Foxrock-Cabinteely in an All-Ireland senior ladies club football final.
It's been a meteoric rise for Brophy and her club and when Foxrock Gaelic Club was founded back in 2000, they had no home pitch to call their own.
At the time, the Foxrock parish allowed the girls to train on a field in Cornelscourt but 2005 was a groundbreaking year when Foxrock Ladies amalgamated with Cabinteely.
Success came quickly and in 2007 Foxrock-Cabinteely were crowned All-Ireland junior club champions. Nine years later, they can land the biggest prize of all.
Brophy remembers the formative days before glory arrived, recalling: "We started at . . . I think we were actually Junior 'E' at the time. Initially, we had one or two seasons where we physically couldn't field a team, some of the girls played for Olaf's at the time."
But now Foxrock-Cabinteely are very much a team on the rise.
Beaten senior semi-finalists against Donaghmoyne last year, tomorrow they face the same opposition in the decider.
And Foxrock-Cab have form coming into it - having seen off five-time winners Carnacon in the last four.
Brophy acknowledged: "To get past the semi-final this year, particularly the fact that it was against Carnacon, that was huge for us. We knew we were going to have to put in a big performance."
Cora Staunton was Carnacon's scorer-in-chief and while the Mayo ace scored 1-7, Brophy reckons that Foxrock-Cab handled her well.
She said: "Niamh Collins picked her up and then one or two of the other girls were sweeping around her as well, I think Ciara Murphy. So she was well picked up, they battled very hard.
"That says a lot about her as a player, that on a bad day she's still getting 1-7.
"She was constantly hassled when she was on the ball so she couldn't get a shot away. I think she only got three points from play."
To finish the job would, as Brophy admits, "mean everything" to Foxrock-Cab.
She adds: "It's the ultimate goal. We started as a club probably a little over ten years ago, we're a very young team, and it's almost surreal to be here now. It has all happened quite quickly, to get to the highest level you can possibly get to, so it would mean everything."
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