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Thursday 19 October 2017

New Dubs Dawn brings Elaine joy

SOMETIMES, Kevin Keegan admitted that he wasn't up for the game.

Then he'd run out at Anfield and hear 26,000 on the Kop chanting his name…Keegan, Keegan, Keegan.

He was re-born.

Sometimes, going to Bray for training on a Monday night, Elaine O'Meara's mood would be as heavy as the traffic.

But then on arrival, she sees 30 players togging out. Her heart begins to sing.

LUCKY

"You feel lucky to be part of such a professional set-up," she says. She can remember when the numbers weren't so big.

"It hasn't been easy for Dublin managements in the last few years.

"The talent was in the county, but the players weren't coming out.

"But now there's girls there who really want to play for Dublin, and that's the big difference."

For Elaine, it was never a choice she had to make. Wearing the blue was, and is, one of the great privileges of her life.

For Elaine, pride and the respect for the Dublin jersey is a given. She knows the modern-day Dubs are walking in the

footsteps of giants.

The ash is in her bones. Her brother, Ger, has decorated the jerseys of Dublin and O'Toole's.

Like Ger, Elaine is a class act. Has there been a more consistent, diligent defender in the capital over the last few years?

She's thrilled to see the new dawn, but she appreciates the efforts of those that kept the show on the road, those that kept going through the wind and the rain.

"Thankfully, things are very positive. There's a real determination there.

"Everybody wants to succeed. Some players of real quality have come into the panel.

"It's the first time in a long time that there has been huge competition for places. Dublin needs that. It's hard to pick a team, which is great."

Division 1 of the National League brought wins at home to Derry and away to Clare. And defeats, but positive performances, at home to Cork and away to Kilkenny.

Elaine scored a neat point against the Cats in Danesfort last week.

"We work as hard as any other team. It's a question of having the belief. "Past managements, and the present management, have been drilling that into us. We have the ability, and we shouldn't fear any team."

And with improved results comes a sharper profile. Many people don't go to the Dublin games, but they'd still have an ear to the radio.

Elaine would love to see more of the faithful put on their blue hat and scarf.

"There's nothing better than going out to play and hearing the crowd cheering you. It spurs you on."

Just like Kevin Keegan.

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