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Saturday 21 September 2019

Lauren excels on City express

Magee keeps it in family

IN CHARGE: Dublin’s Lauren Magee in action during the Leinster final against Westmeath. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
IN CHARGE: Dublin’s Lauren Magee in action during the Leinster final against Westmeath. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

In Tullamore, Lauren Magee was like the express train. Burning up the turf. In Bord na Móna Park.

Getting on the breaking ball and striding purposefully across the Midlands. Deep into the Kingdom.

She's a natural athlete. Catherina McKiernan would compliment her feet. She'd be a champion of cross country.

Lauren's energy and athleticism brings much to the Dublin team. She always puts in a mighty shift. Defending. Tidying up. Setting up scores. And popping one over herself.

Her boots were delivered by Swift Post. And for Lauren, it's about hitting the Q mark. Every time.

"It's all about the team," she says. "We try to use the ball to the best of our ability. Select the right option. We try to re-create what we have done in training.

"Our aim is to maintain the intensity and achieve high standards every time we go out. For us, it's about improvement. There are always things that we have to work on. To try and do better.

"So it's a case of going back to the drawing board. Going back to the training ground and endeavouring to become better footballers."

She learned from the best. Her Dad, Johnny, of Kilmacud Crokes and Dublin.

As a child, she'd be down watching him train and going to all his matches. And now it's a rare day when he's not on the terraces encouraging Lauren.

His brother, Darren, also of Crokes and the Dubs, has also been very supportive.

Their mother, Daisy, was on the committee when ladies' football first sailed out at Páirc de Burca.

"I never have to go far for advice," she says. "And there's great people involved in the club."

With each match, Dublin have looked more formidable.

"Yes, thankfully, things have been going nicely. It's great to get the games under our belt."

Lauren is pleased to see the support that is turning up at the matches. Especially as the 20x20 campaign rolls on.

"I think the profile of the game is getting better all the time. And it's such a boost for us to see the number of followers at the games.

"And the standards keep rising. The skills have improved so much and people are seeing good football.

"We, the players, certainly appreciate the support we get. People taking the time to come out and get behind us."

And the Dubs express their thanks by always staying on the pitch long after the final whistle, signing autographs and posing for pictures with the kids.

Next Sunday, the Blue Army will be on the move again. Up the road to Croke Park.

Dublin against Cork in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final (3.45). A repeat of last year's All-Ireland final. Lauren's second All-Ireland medal.

A big occasion at HQ. And the action will begin with the opening semi-final between Galway and Mayo (2.0).

When Dublin and Cork meet for afternoon tea, there is always plenty to talk about. It has developed into the greatest rivalry that the sport has seen.

Two teams laced with top performers. Players who are used to the bright lights.

And who looked sure to provide another memorable show in the big theatre.

Lauren, like all her team-mates, will have the gloves on, and the boots polished.

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