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Saturday 14 December 2019

Results matter less than style

Playing the game the right way is priority of Bohan's Bible

QUEENS OF IRELAND: Dublin players celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup following the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final at Croke Park in September. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
QUEENS OF IRELAND: Dublin players celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup following the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final at Croke Park in September. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Tony O'Donoghue was on the radio. Talking about Danny Blanchflower.

Danny believed in the glory game. It was never about the results. It was how you played that mattered.

Dublin won the three-in-a-row last September. Yet not long after the final whistle, Mick Bohan sensed disappointment among the players.

"They felt they could have put on a better show for the crowd," reflected Mick.

Mick loves to see the team throw the ball around like the Harlem Globetrotters. And to show Flatley feet.

But it didn't happen that day. The wet, grey conditions didn't help. It was a low-scoring game that Dublin grinded out. And there's merit in that too.

Yet the players felt it was a chance lost. They don't get to play in the Opera House too often. And when they do, they like to sing like Maria Callas.

"I thought the best game of the year for us was against Cork in the semi-final. That was in Croke Park and I was glad it was because it was a good showcase for the sport.

"The men's footballers get the chance to play in Croke Park a few times a year. We don't, so it's important when we do, that we make the most of it."

Mick states it's important to hear the turnstiles click. And to put on an exhibition that the audience will enjoy. And to have them calling for more.

It's not just about the one big day - the All-Ireland final with its record crowd. It's about all the other days.

"Most of our matches would be played in front of small crowds, so it's always good when we get the chance to play in front of a big attendance.

"I think double-headers are the way to go. We played up in Castlebar before the men's Mayo v Dublin game and by half-time there must have been 7 or 8,000 there. The atmosphere was

unbelievable, and that's what you want to see.

"Even if most of the spectators are only coming along at half-time in our game, it's still a plus. They are getting to see women's football."

Mick declares that girls and women have a role to play in increased attendances. "Females need to be going along to watch female sport. More of that has to happen."

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