Emma Duggan stands on a supermarket checkout conveyor belt as she clutches the Division 1 League title.
Carla Rowe has been watching and the Dublin captain reminds us that success can’t be put a price on photographers’ efforts to snap ever-quirkier snaps at the start of the 2023 Lidl Ladies National Football League. I know.
More than any other team, Meath’s rise to the top of the women’s game came at a cost to Dublin. Long a flag-bearer, Dublin is now back in the flock. chasing meese. of all teams.
The old rivalry will go to battle again this Saturday for the first weekend of the 2023 league campaign. The match is plagued by issues around the venue.
Parnell Park was deemed unplayable and finding another venue in the capital proved to be a problem. Finally, it has been confirmed that the match will take place on Tuesday at his DCU St. Clairs, where Dublin is training. The game will be broadcast live on TG4.
But given that the spectators have turned to the recent clashes between these teams, including last year’s league match at Peak Taertean, the season-opening showdown between two of the country’s top teams has a very, very, very low stake. It seems like an off-Broadway venue.
“First of all, I guessed it was in Parnell Park,” says Duggan.
“But the pitch is the pitch. We play everywhere, but especially against Dublin. No. Both teams must play on the same pitch.
“The atmosphere last year was incredible and any day Meath plays in Dublin there will be huge crowds because there is a rivalry there.
Lowe said the Dublin players have let no speculation about the venue in recent days, but that didn’t distract them from this weekend’s main goal of making the season a flyer with a win over Meath. .
“We’re not focused on where we play, we just need to go out and play,” Lowe said. “But look, you want to make sure we have facilities that can facilitate the big crowds that are going to come.
“We’ve played league games before. The facilities are top class. I don’t know how they’ll set it up so that everyone can watch the game when there’s a large crowd.”
Mick Bohan will remain Dublin manager, but reigning league and All-Ireland champions Meath will start under a new regime led by Davy Nelson. Only time will tell if the Royals can keep up their incredible streak, but Duggan feels it doesn’t hurt to hear another voice backstage.
“There’s been a lot of change, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing,” she says. “Fresh ideas, new ideas will come. That’s how we’re approaching it, embracing the challenges at hand.
“People want to achieve more and that’s great. We’ve got like 12 new girls on board, lots of minor teams from last year and they always look out for us all. .
“It’s very difficult to leave when you’re winning. I’m now the age where many of my friends go to J1 and so on, but I couldn’t think of anything worse. I would have sat down and watched every game, and I would be sick of missing out on my childhood dream of an All-Ireland tournament.
“We have to embrace the time we have now and enjoy it, because it probably won’t last forever. I want to, but I want to win as much as possible.”
If Meath is to last a little longer, Vikki Wall will almost certainly have to return to the ditch. It is expected.
While there have been reports linking her to the move to play rugby, Duggan says her Meath colleague and AFL player won’t take over another oval ball chord.
“Vicky is definitely not going to play rugby,” says Duggan. “Vicky is a very spontaneous person. She can go out and do anything, but she’s about to get the hang of one sport.
“Vicky will be back in Australia in the meantime, but I think he hopes to be back probably in April or May. It’s obviously not specific but he will be there for the championship. That’s the most important thing.”
Lowe attended Manchester United’s win over Manchester City at Old Trafford last Saturday. The next day she went on a stadium tour when her group inadvertently gatecrashed the official photo shoot for United’s new signing, Wout Weghorst.
She stopped by for a quick photo with the Dutch player, and hours later her phone bounced after Manchester United posted the snap online.
“Me and some kids on the tour went to take pictures,” smiles Rowe. “Then Manchester United went on social media and it was pretty crazy. I didn’t even know it was over until some of the girls messaged me. It was a great weekend.”
However, Dublin will be reopening this Saturday as it aims to be on store shelves in 2023.
*2023 Lidl LGFA National League starts this weekend. TG4 has confirmed live coverage of 13 games, starting with Dublin v Meath at DCU St. Clair on Saturday at 5.15. All other matches of the competition can be viewed via LGFA’s live streaming portal https://page.inplayer.com/. lgfaseason2023/lidl-nfl.html .