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Martha hopes to keep winning habit

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Dublin’s Martha Byrne at the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé, to take place in Dingle from February 21-23

Dublin’s Martha Byrne at the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé, to take place in Dingle from February 21-23

Paddy White

Dublin’s Martha Byrne at the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé, to take place in Dingle from February 21-23

Like many of her Dublin colleagues, Martha Byrne is coming off the back of three All-Ireland wins in a row, but things weren't always so rosy.

The Dubs are top of the tree now but from 2014-16 they were in a very different place. They had lost three deciders in a row, enough to test their stomach for a fight. But heading into this weekend's Ladies NFL opener against Tipperary as the game's undisputed top dogs, she agrees the squad are in a different place.

"I know it's such a cliche saying it, but the whole thing around winning being a habit because we've managed to come off the back of losing three and now we've won three, it has become a habit," she said.

"You know that even when you are in those tough corners that you have it in your armoury, that you know how to come out of those tough corners. So I think it really stands to you, once you get over a few wins, particularly over Cork who were the reigning champions for so long, that you kind of know you can do it which really stands to you."

Much of the credit for that turnaround can be laid at the door of manager Mick Bohan. And Byrne believe that his insistence that the basic skills are sound has laid the foundations for their success.

"Mick is never happy ... if we perfect one thing it is on to the next, but if we mess up even a little bit on something that we think we have done well, on we will go straight back to it," she revealed.

"The way he manages and coaches the game is incredibly simple. We still work on hand-passing every single session. He's constantly trying to get us to learn new skills, but for him perfecting the basics is the making of a really good team."

Dublin won't have the likes of Sinead Goldrick and Niamh McEvoy, who will ply their trade in the AFLW for the coming months, but Byrne insists that despite all their success, their eyes will be on claiming yet more silverware.

"First of all we want to win it (the league). We have only won it once since the new management come in and we'd be disappointed with how the league ended last year. We have a panel of over 40 so we have to find the balance of being successful and try to find different players and players in different positions.

"So it is making sure we are trying as many different players and then trying to perfect or work on how we play the game."