Galway focused on the task at hand as Conneally looks to emulate sister's success

Sunday's TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championship final is a special occasion for all connected with Galway Ladies Football. For the players, Sunday's 60 minutes is culmination of months and years of hard work on the training paddock as the Tribeswomen prepare to face their first final in 14 years and only the fourth in the county's history.

The obvious drive to win as a collective is there for any player who laces up a pair of boots and runs onto a field, but what runs parallel to this is the individual's personal goals which can be getting their hands on the Brendan Martin Cup and a winner's medal, to wanting to represent their family, club, and county with pride. For Sarah Conneally, Sunday's decider provides her with the opportunity to emulate her older sister, Geraldine, who was a part of that fabled 2004 team. Sitting in the Hogan Stand on October 3 2004, Conneally says she can remember the day well.

"I do [remember]. My sister was playing. I remember running onto the pitch. There weren't many stewards in those days so I managed to get on the pitch and celebrate that day and all that week. I remember the homecoming and they are definitely special memories.

"They were my idols and I would have played with some those girls and I would've taken huge learnings from playing with them and I suppose I got a flavour of success that day."

But as the countdown towards throw-in at 4pm this Sunday in Croke Park continues, the Dunmore MacHales woman says although the 2004 victory is an inspiration to the current squad, she believes 2019 vintage are solely focused on creating their own piece of history.

"We had the success in 2004 but to be honest, we are looking at what we can do now. We are not looking at the past and what [the current squad has] achieved in the past because you would focus on it if that were the case. What happened in the past, the success, is in the past. We will be looking to create our own piece of history the next day and hopefully come out with an excellent performance which will see us with the right result."

The hurdle Conneally and co must overcome is a Dublin side who are going for third consecutive All-Ireland title. The teams met in Moycullen earlier this year with the capital outfit running out 2-8 to 1-7 victors, but Conneally insists while there will be some focus on Mick Bohan's charges, Galway will be keeping most of their attention on their own game.

"We are definitely looking forward and looking ahead to our challenge on Sunday against Dublin. We are looking at it as just another game of football. We have faced and played Dublin in many battles and we have taken huge learnings from those games. Obviously we will look at Dublin to a degree but we are very much focused on ourselves and what we can bring the next day.

"I suppose it is about sticking to the process. It isn't over to the final whistle blows. You're just focused on the next ball so that's what we will be looking to do. There is huge competition and huge intensity in training and that is what you need. You play as you train and that is brilliant preparation for us going forward into the final."


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