Saturday 20 January 2018

'We've got the experience to beat Cork in final', says Jackies' star

Carla Rowe (right) with her Dublin team-mate Sinead Finnegan
Carla Rowe (right) with her Dublin team-mate Sinead Finnegan

She only picked up a football at the age of 13, but Jackies forward Carla Rowe already has three All-Ireland titles under her belt. Not one to rest on her laurels, she is aiming for a fourth this Sunday.

The 21-year-old student from The Naul, north Co Dublin, isn't daunted by the prospect of taking on the seemingly undefeatable Rebelettes in Sunday's All-Ireland Senior Ladies football final at Croke Park.

Carla has her plate full as a student in her final year of health and physical activity studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

She also finds time to mentor aspiring players after being chosen as the Gaelic football ambassador for Sky Sports' Living for Sport mentorship programme. But she remains relatively unfazed.


"You just have to work with it and you need to be able to juggle. You have the commitment with playing with Dublin or playing county and then being able to commit to doing your college and studies and making sure you do well," she said.

But Carla loves what she's doing after starting to play Gaelic football at the relatively "old" age of 13 when she moved from Lusk to The Naul and started training in her back garden.

Since then she has won three U-21 All Ireland titles - in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She was also Dublin's U-21 captain last year.

As for facing down Cork, who have won the past three consecutive titles and have never lost a final, she's aware of the challenge.

"They're a very strong team and they're going for their 11th title. They're well used to playing at Croke Park and having big days," Carla said.

"But we've had All-Ireland titles in our bag as well. Some of the girls were playing in 2010 when we won the title, so I guess it's a case that we've had that experience as well," she said.

"Hopefully we can bring that forward into Sunday."

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