IN THE WAKE of Dublin’s retention of the All-Ireland title last September, Lyndsey Davey voiced her doubts about she would be able to return to pitch in with the squad for another season.
With three senior medals in the trophy cabinet, the temptation was there to depart.
It was not an issue that was resolved simply in the off season, with work commitments with the Dublin Airport fire service a key consideration, but last week she nailed her colours to the mast again.
The coming year will see a role with the Dublin ladies football squad play a big part in her life once more, just like it has since she first joined the squad in 2004.
“I had a good chat with Mick (Bohan, Dublin manager) there and I think at the moment with my body, obviously I have been playing a long time, so I’ll do a bit of recovery now for the next couple of weeks and get the mind and the body right and then hopefully get back into it slowly.
“I was speaking to Mick, he is a very persuasive man and you obviously want to play for as long as you can. There is a few things coming up with work that you have to juggle around but that’s how it goes.
“He is very understanding when it comes to work stuff. His concern is are you mentally and physically in the right position and just to take it one step at a time.”
The lure to remain with the Dublin setup is strong. They are currently flying high after sweeping up the last two All-Ireland crowns but Davey has witnessed the flipside when they struggled to get over the line as the season closed in Croke Park.
“It is probably easier to stay on when you are winning if you kept losing you’d be down but you want to be as successful as you can while you can and the prospect of going for three-in-a-row having lost so many is something that would be a massive honour to try and do.
Lyndsey Davey celebrates last year’s All-Ireland final win for Dublin.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
“We went on our team holiday to Andorra and it was nice to get away from it all and enjoy the success with the team and relax and have fun.
“The celebrations are over, this is a new year and new beginning and start back from scratch again.”
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Heading into her 16th campaign with Dublin, Davey has witnessed a massive cycle of change in the sport.
“Massive changes, one of the key elements is the emphasis on strength and conditioning, we have much better facilities than we had back then.
“DCU is our core base now and we do all our gym wire and pitch work there but before you wouldn’t know where you’d be, you’d be all over Dublin. There’s more emphasis on our stats and stuff that plays a key part.
“You can see it in the physique of the girls, they are so much stronger and fitter looking and you can see it on the pitch too, games are getting more and more competitive.
“When I started we didn’t even have a ladies team in the club. I would have been playing with the boys up until the age of U13. We only got an U14 team then, so I had a team to play with.
“But if you look now even at my club, the ladies football is nearly overtaking the men’s teams. There’s just so many underage teams which is fantastic to see and even with the All-Ireland, I think we had four or five busloads of girls coming in to watch.
“I suppose younger girls have role models to look up to. When they’re seeing you in an All-Ireland final, they’re like that’s what I want to be. I can see that, it’s really evident in my club in Skerries of how much the success in Dublin is impacting our club.”
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