Galway to embrace pressure as excitement and expectation grows

Sarah Lynch  - bringing a high intensity and workrate to Croke Park. 	Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Sarah Lynch - bringing a high intensity and workrate to Croke Park. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

October 3 2004 is a date where if you asked any player, supporter, or volunteer associated with Galway Ladies Football 'Where were you?', they would be two responses; 'I was in Croke Park' or I was watching on the TV the events unfolding at HQ. The special day is forever etched on the minds of those players, supporters, and volunteers because it was the day after 30 years of trying, the Tribeswomen finally brought the Brendan Martin Cup home for the first and only time.

Fifteen years later, those entrusted with the maroon jersey for 2019 have an opportunity to write their own names into Galway football folklore. But with success and reaching an All-Ireland decider comes pressure and expectation, aspects which Galway full back Sarah Lynch believes the team should embrace.

"You can't really overthink it or else it could affect your own performance so we just have to embrace it," she says. "At the start of every year Croke Park is always at the back of your mind and we did come together as a group and we did put it down as something we wanted to achieve by getting there.

"There is definitely a lot of excitement [around the county]. Even since the semi-final a few weeks ago, people have their flags and bunting out. All the children in my school are very excited and I am getting lots of questions about the final. We are really grateful for the support and we are hoping loads of people will travel up on the day. It would be great to have a big crowd from Galway up there and hopefully [we will] do the county proud."

Although there is pressure to perform and bring home silverware, the primary school teacher maintains that Galway go to the capital with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"I feel there is less pressure on us. They are the All-Ireland champions. They have everything to lose. We are coming in, preparing as well as we can. We know them pretty well. They know us pretty well but at the end of the day it is an All-Ireland final and anything can really happen.

"We have prepared really well so we are really looking forward to putting in a good performance and bringing a high intensity and workrate. The semi-final [against Mayo] in Croke Park will benefit us. It was my first time playing there. We have the Croke Park experience out of the way now and we were now just looking forward to playing on Sunday and hopefully get a result on the day."

Lynch was present in Croke Park that famous day in October 2004 but the Lettermore woman insists the players have not allowed themselves to get carried away with the idea of becoming only the second ever Galway side to be crowned All-Ireland champions.

"Yeah, I was up there [in Dublin for 2004]. I think I was about 12 or 13. A girl from my club Philomena Ni Fhlatharta was playing that day. I remember we took the bus to go up to support her and we had a great day out. They were our heroes and they did great that day.

"[But] You can't look too far ahead. We are just looking towards the game now, the first 30 minutes and then the second half. Get through that and hopefully everything will go well for us."


Page generated in 0.2626 seconds.