“I thought it was the right time to go but seeing the girls playing last week, it was really sad"
By Jackie Cahill
Dublin are planning this season without two-time TG4 All-Ireland senior medallist Laura McGinley, who’s confirmed that she’s travelling to the US on a J1 in the summer.
But the versatile Naomh Barróg player, who scored a brace of goals against Cavan in the 2018 Championship, admits that she’s been experiencing pangs of regret since making her decision.
McGinley, 21, informed Dublin boss Mick Bohan of her travelling plans last November but said that she found it difficult to watch her team-mates in action against Mayo under the Croke Park lights last Saturday night.
Attacking defender McGinley, who will captain Dublin City University in the Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Shield showdown against NUI Galway next Friday (March 8), said: “I thought it was the right time to go but then seeing the girls playing here (Croke Park) last week, it was really sad.
“It’s great to see the girls win and get over the line but my best friends are all on the football team.
“Even though we still see each other, and I saw them after the game, the connection you have with them is cut.”
McGinley, who netted for Dublin in the 2018 Lidl NFL Division 1 Final victory over Mayo, has not been part of the Sky Blues panel this year.
She plans to travel in June, with San Diego and the Na Fianna club her preferred destination.
McGinley added: “I have played for Dublin all the way through underage and this is the first year I’m not playing.
“It’s a complete change in lifestyle. I know, come June when I do get away, that hopefully I’ll have an amazing time but if I’m lucky enough to get back on the team next year, I would definitely love to go back.”
The business end of McGinley’s season in 2018 was hampered by a calf injury – and she didn’t play again for the county last year after netting those two goals against Cavan in the first half.
Nonetheless, it was a memorable year for McGinley, who also won a Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup medal with DCU.
She added: “Mick (Bohan) is great in terms of skill-sets. Even in the League Final (against Mayo), I remember I scored with my left foot and I would never have dreamed of taking a shot with my left foot before the last couple of years.
“The team management and coaches have really focused on skill and driving forward. That’s another big thing – not to be defensive all the time. Everyone’s attacking, it doesn’t matter if you’re corner back or full-forward.
“I got a lot of opportunities to play, which was great, and I was really grateful for them as well.”
McGinley believes that “anything is possible” as Dublin target successful defences of their League and All-Ireland titles, but she said: “It’s anyone’s game and the League has been so competitive. There’s not just one team completely annihilating everyone. It’s anyone’s game - but the girls seem to be really enjoying the training.”