"It's just a really hard thing to step away from" - camaraderie keeps pulling Davey back in 1 month ago

"It's just a really hard thing to step away from" - camaraderie keeps pulling Davey back in

If you're good enough, you're old enough.

Lyndsey Davey won a ladies football All-Star when she was 16 years of age. Cliche confirmed. Lean times, mucky fields, glory days later and the Skerries Harps player is tipped to pick up her fifth All-Star this Saturday night, at 31. If you're good enough, you're young enough.

31 is hardly old but when you've been playing for more than half of your life, it's not the age but the mileage. When you've been squeezing in the night shifts, long shifts, late shifts and making sure they don't interfere with your other life as a ladies footballer, it takes it out of you.

Lyndsey Davey is a fire-fighter and for 17 years now she's been on call. Neither phone was left to ring but with four All-Irelands in a row won, is it all worth the rushing and the racing?

The main thing keeping Davey on side is the camaraderie, the soul, the inkling that if she decides to leave now, the people that have made it all worthwhile will be missed.

"It is just a really hard thing to step away from because you know what you are going to miss out on," she says ahead of the AIG Goal of the Year competition and TG4 All-Stars.

"We enjoy training together and performing on the pitch. But, as well, it is the friendships we have off the pitch that is one of the things you'll miss the most..."

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"If it turns out that we can go ahead and that I do commit then great, but it’s definitely important to be keeping the body right..."

Leave it for another day. You get the feeling it ain't over yet.

She looks at Cora Staunton who still lords it at 39 and wonders if it's possible.

"It’s one of those things, the older you get and I’ve been playing a long time, the more injuries you get. You are probably better at looking after those injuries but at the same time, you have to look after yourself a lot more.

"I don’t know if my body will be in the same position at that age, but we’ll see what happens. I’m just trying to get through year to year at the moment. But yeah, it goes to show what you can do when you do look after your body. She’s had a really long career and she’s still flying, which is massive credit to herself."

Is the AFLW itself a possibility? Davey is keeping her options open but there's a train coming down those tracks, which might just rule her out.

"At the moment I think it is fantastic for the players who have the opportunity go over because that is what they want to do but I think in the long term, every season there seems to be more games added to the schedule which means the season is going further and further into the year. The finals are in April this year so if this was a normal season it would be encroaching further and further into the league.

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"Whereas if that goes into mid-summer, down the line it is going to have be a case of girls making the decision of either playing one or the other. But then it is up to how understanding a manager will be if a player misses half the season and the comes back just for the beginning of the championship. I think that is something that will cause an issue for players down the line where they will have to make that decision."

Her heart's in Dublin, mind on the job at hand for now.

"I would never turn down an opportunity and I always definitely explore the options and see. At the moment I am doing my paramedic training and my internship is a two-year programme so I only started that in September so I have still a good way to go in that before getting qualified as a paramedic. That would be my main focus at the moment. It would definitely be an opportunity at the moment that I would not see as feasible and at the moment I am happy in my career.

Saturday night's All-Stars won't be the same but they will be special. Davey's not sure if she's in the mix. We are.

"I’ve absolutely no idea (if I’m in the mix) but I think it’s fantastic that it is going ahead. I have to say I’ve always loved the All-Stars, all my family and friends would go and we’d have such great craic. It’s a bit different but the fact that it will be televised this year is brilliant and it shows how far we’ve come. But yeah look, I’ve no idea, I’m interested myself to see who’s in the mix. Even with the Player of the Year, it will be interesting to see who gets that one! Obviously I’ll be biased towards Carla or Goldie, but three fantastic nominees there."

We haven't seen the last of her just yet.

23 February 2021; AIG Insurance is delighted to partner with TG4 and the LGFA to help showcase the Teams of the 2020 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championships and the AIG Goal of the Year competition. Dublin star Lyndsey Davey is photographed at Skerries Harbour ahead of the event. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile