"Dublin is my 100% number one focus" - Goldrick still at the top of her game 1 month ago

"Dublin is my 100% number one focus" - Goldrick still at the top of her game

She's playing well, the hamstrings are good and while there's another trip to Australia on the cards, Sinead Goldrick is, completely and totally focused, at the moment, on playing football for Dublin.

That's how it is and that's how it will be until their championship campaign is over, which, unless there's a shock, will be the last day of July - in other words - All-Ireland ladies football final day.

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That she's around for the year will come as a huge relief not just to Mick Bohan, but to her Dublin team-mates and their supporters too because, ever since she came onto the panel in 2009, Sinead Goldrick has been the heart-beat of this team.

A stalwart hardly even cuts it when you consider that, in her last ten years as a footballer, the Foxrock-Cabinteely player has won eight All-Stars.

It's a phenomenal tally that gives an insight into the consistency she has shown and, at the same time, it makes it very easy to understand why, since moving Down Under in 2019, she's also been hugely influential for the Melbourne Demons as an AFLW player.

Goldrick was a key player in their march to the Grand final last year - opponents will still be having nightmares about her tight marking -  and it's no wonder they're prepared to let her play the full season with Dublin before coming on over then.

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"I've signed on for Melbourne for this year, but I'll be with Dublin.

"If Dublin get knocked out, I'll be heading over within a week. I'm just really lucky that both Melbourne and Dublin are really trusting. Melbourne are like 'Sinead, we know that your focus right now is on Gaelic football, and we're fully supportive of that.'

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"My Melbourne coach was over here a few weeks ago, he kind of just went through a few things in terms of foot-work and handling that he'd like me to focus on while I'm here, but he just said 'I know that Dublin is your main focus and we don't want to get in the way of that.'

"On the Dublin side, like I missed the whole League, I'm just really grateful that the managers and players all let me come back in. When they're so respectful and understanding, you just want to give them back as much as you can.

"Once Gaelic finishes, I'll have a little mental break and then get back into it and into the team over there. I'm excited for both but at the moment, Dublin is my 100% number one focus."

Some torrid luck with the hamstrings was one of the few things that threatened to de-rail her in the last few years but, after an intensive rehab routine in Australia and back home, she's overcome that and is moving freely again now.

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"I ruptured my right hamstring and had to have surgery on it. Then I did a grade one and a grade two on the other leg when I came back to Dublin last year, so both were in the wars. Since I've come back this year, I've had no trouble touch-wood and that's down to a lot of rehab and ensuring they're very strong.

"I was probably doing four S and C sessions a week on my hamstring when I was in Australia and, during their pre-season, there's no games at the weekend so you've more time to focus on it which certainly helps."

The first round of the AFLW season takes place in September this year and, as has been the case for the last few years, Goldrick won't have too much time to rest the mind and body. On that note, she says it's all about managing the load.

"It's the mental side of things. Whenever I do have time, I try to rest and try not to be going at 100% all of the time. So you have to manage your load and take time to relax and switch off from both. Both the Dublin and Melbourne S and C coaches would be chatting about that.'

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Goldrick's consistency as a player meant it was very hard to take Meath manager Eamonn Murray seriously when, in citing her as an example, he said that AFLW players don't exactly "set the world on fire when they come back over here." For Goldrick, it was like water off a duck's back.

"I think it's the nature of sport that you'll get positive and negative comments so it's just about, as an individual and a group, taking on board the stuff you want to take on board. I really focus on what my role in the team is, so whether it's a man-marking job or I've more freedom in the game, regardless of what it is, it's going back to that drawing board and trying to perform as best as you can for the team, and playing within the style of the team."

13 June 2022; PwC GAA/GPA Players of the Month for May, from left, Clare hurler Shane O'Donnell, Waterford Camogie player Lorraine Bray, Dublin footballer Sinéad Goldrick and Derry footballer Brendan Rogers with their awards at PwC HQ in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile