Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant believes that there are both “pros and cons” to Dublin automatically qualifying for the Leinster final.
Mick Bohan’s side will face Westmeath in the provincial decider on Sunday in what will be their first game since exiting the league at the hands of Cork earlier this year.
Cork, meanwhile, played a game against Waterford and Kerry before reaching the Munster final. While having games under their belt might aid Ephie Fitzgerald’s side, Trant maintains that the fewer teams that stand in Dublin’s way, the better.
“There are pros and cons to it. As players, you want as many matches as you can and it’s been a long time since we had our last match, the league semi-final against Cork. We went back to our clubs and played championship with them so there has been a little bit of a lull that we’re building up now towards Westmeath.
“We can’t be focused on ‘we’d love more games, we’d like the competition to be more competitive. We want to win All Irelands and the first step within that is to win Leinster and that’s our focus. The less people get in our way, the better for us. Overall, it’d be great to have more matches but to get straight to a final and to have a chance of winning some silverware is exciting.”
She maintains that other counties will have to meet the standards being set by Dublin and Westmeath if they are to provide competition within the province.
“It’s great going straight into a final. You’re not dumped out at the semi-final stage so I’ll take a final any day of the week. But the challenge is there for anyone who’s not winning matches or silverware to get better.
“As long as ourselves and Westmeath are driving each other on in Leinster, it’s up to the rest of the pack to catch up and raise their standards.”
While Dublin may not have had inter-county games to prepare for the provincial final, their ferocious in-house games were more than enough to compensate.
Trant admits that she finds A v B games “intimidating” given the standard within the camp.
“Playing against another team, your focus is different to going out in an in-house game and making sure you put the best performance you can in to get a jersey or to come on as one of the five subs.
“I find them really intimidating and intense because the standard is so high, the approach is quite similar to an All Ireland final. It’s possibly not the same for other girls on the team but that’s the only time I get really, really nervous is before an in-house game because you know this is our last chance before the big day.
“If it’s not happening for us, as individuals or as a unit, well then it’s going to be very hard to transfer that onto the pitch for championship.”
Leinster Senior Championship Final: Dublin v Westmeath, Netwatch Cullen Park, 4pm.
LGFA players Ciara Trant, Niamh Carr, Áine McDonagh and Eimear Scally were at today’s announcement of AIG’s exclusive insurance offers to LGFA members.
As Official Insurance Partner of the LGFA, AIG revealed exclusive 15% off car insurance & 25% off home insurance for all LGFA members and their families. All adult Intercounty LGFA players receive 25% off car insurance.