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Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Jackies are box office gold

EYE OF A NEEDLE: Dublin’s Carla Rowe scores their third goal despite the efforts of Cork players (l-r) Doireann O’Sullivan, Martina O’Brien and Róisín Phelan during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final at Croke Park last month. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
EYE OF A NEEDLE: Dublin’s Carla Rowe scores their third goal despite the efforts of Cork players (l-r) Doireann O’Sullivan, Martina O’Brien and Róisín Phelan during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final at Croke Park last month. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The Jackies can make the turnstiles chime. As the Dubs can do in all the codes.

When the capital's teams are doing well, it adds an extra dash of colour to the day.

"Yes, no matter what the game, Dublin bring such a drive along with them," states Lyn Savage, the National Development Manager of Ladies Football.

Lyn has seen how the profile of the Dubs has risen since they have won the All-Ireland title.

"I'd be out at Dublin's National League games and it's great to see the queue of kids looking for their autographs.

Increasing

"The profile of Ladies Football in Dublin is massive, but, all throughout the country, it is increasing all the time.

"You could see by the size of the crowd at this year's All-Ireland finals that people want to go out and watch Ladies Football."

Dublin's elevation to the summit has brought even more welcome attention for the sport.

It's not only the sports pages they decorate these days. They have been on the radio and on television. And there are more women pundit's. "People are starting to know the players. And that's great for the likes of Dublin.

"They can walk down the street and be recognised. That is what they deserve.

"People are realising that the women put in just as much effort as the men.

"But it didn't happen by just turning a switch. It didn't happen overnight. It took a awful lot of work."

The game is on a different planet now. It has gained so much acclaim. And its Fan Club keeps increasing.

Dublin have played a big part in that. Their fitness. The quality of their football.

Their discipline. The buzz of adventure they bring to the hour. Moving it quickly from the back garden to the front porch.

There were over 50,000 in Croke Park to see Mick Bohan's side do the two-in-a-row. And 180,000 watched the game on TG4.

"We are blessed with our sponsors," adds Lyn. "We had Lidl again with us for the Gaelic4Mothers&Others.

"And then there's TG4. What women's sport in the world get as many live matches as we do on TG4.

Phenomenal

"It's huge. TG4 bring the game into every living room in the country. And they also go international. Those two sponsors have just been phenomenal."

During the summer, TG4 broadcast 20 live matches. They reached over 850,000 viewers in total.

And the games were also broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube and the TG4 player. And that made the matches available to viewers worldwide.

The All-Ireland final preview programme from the Mansion House was also deemed a big success, as 128,000 viewers tuned in.

Lyn says that any county with ambitions of beating the Dubs will most certainly have to be in tune.

"Like in the men's football, there will be many teams trying to knock the Dublin lady footballers off their pedestal. But that's a positive thing in its own way."

Dublin have been raising standards on the pitch, and raising figures off it.

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