'Ladies Gaelic footballers are on a mission!'
Published: 15th February 2017
“We welcome all students who are interested in ladies football,” so says Ailbhe Finnerty, captain of the Trinity ladies Gaelic football club.
The club is back in action this week with the start of their division 2, Giles Cup, championship games.
“We have to win our first two games in order to qualify for the Giles Cup All-Ireland weekend in Mayo so our current focus is on winning those first two,” says Ailbhe.
The team face current league champions AIT in their first outing this Thursday. “We managed to get the better of them in the league but it was a close game. At the moment training is going well and we’re gunning for a big win come championship!” The ladies Gaelic football team won the Giles Cup two years ago and last year competed in division 1 for the first time ever. Now they’re on a mission to “bring the Giles Cup back to Trinity” Ailbhe says.
The team have been bolstered in recent times by an increasing number of international students keen to give the game a try. Last term they had a few “brilliant American students” who never missed a training session. This term they have some Australian students who’ve joined them.
Ladies Gaelic sports scholar Aine Haberlin, who is part of the Giles Cup squad, can understand why the game is so attractive to visiting students.
“I think that International students are playing because they want to experience the Irish culture and to be honest, there is no better way to experience it than play football with this team of girls.
“Once you become part of the football team you have gained 30 more sisters in your life. It sounds very clichéd but sport is probably one of the best ways to make friends.”
There’s no doubt, Ailbhe says, that ladies football has become more popular in recent years. “With the club’s success came more numbers and an increase in popularity. The first team progressed from the Lynch Cup (division 3) to O’Connor Cup (division 1) in the space of a few years.”
With promising numbers now togging out for ladies football, the future looks promising, according to the captain and a Giles Cup victory would be the icing on the cake.
*Trinity ladies Gaelic football team are away to AIT tomorrow, Thursday February 16.