Monday 26 August 2019

Dublin setting standard that rest of country must strive for, insists Rowe

Mayo star Sarah Rowe. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Mayo star Sarah Rowe. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Mayo star Sarah Rowe admits it's a "challenge" keeping pace with three-in-a-row-chasing Dublin.

The Connacht side face Armagh in an All-Ireland quarter-final tomorrow in Longford with Dublin already assured of their place in the last four, where they face Cork.

And Rowe admits that Mick Bohan's side have set the standard for the rest of the country, both on and off the field.

"It is quite a challenge, because anything in life, be it business or team environments, you need money in a successful environment," she said.

"You need to see things being done right for girls to buy into different systems for things to go right and I think Dublin have sponsorships here, there and everywhere and it's really hard to compete with that.

"A lot of people are buying into what they are doing and for Mayo to try and keep up with that is tough. They don't have people travelling for training, they are at a massive advantage but it's up to us to keep pushing."

And she believes the GAA should look at how it divides its funding.

"I know there was an article put out with the GAA's distribution of money, and it notes how significant the gap is so that definitely needs to change anyway.

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"It's going to get noticeably bigger over the next few years, their dominance. You can tell that they definitely have a bit more than every other county and it definitely seems to be very professional for them.

"Mick Bohan has brought a lot to their set-up and brought a real men's mentality. In one way, that's brilliant and they have been the standard-bearers for every other women's team and we have had to change things ourselves to get up to that level, but they are a step ahead.

"I don't know how we are going to compete with it, but when the Mayo men come up against Dublin they still manage to put it up to them, so on any given day whoever wants to work the hardest will win, but they definitely have really good structures in place and that goes a long way."

The Mayo squad is in a more settled place now after a public spat that saw some of their most high-profile players depart the squad.

But Rowe insists the squad is united now.

"Anything like that is always going to be a disappointment.

"They are your friends as well, so it was hard but we are really happy to see the back of it now and move forward with the new group of players we have so we can get as many new young players in as we can and make them feel part of it."

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