Dublin captain Sinead Aherne winning fitness race for All-Ireland final

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Dublin captain Sinead Aherne is confident of being fit to start in Sunday week's TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football final against Cork. 

The veteran attacker tweaked her hamstring after 25-minutes in the defending champions' victory against Armagh in their recent semi-final. She's back in training this week with Mick Bohan's panel and expects to be fully recovered ahead of their meeting with the Rebellettes.

"I felt a little a little tweak and it was possibly a case that I could have carried on," seven-time All-Star Aherne told a virtual press conference this afternoon. "It was a cold night and we'd just come off a water break and I maybe hadn't quite warmed it up again.

"It was only a little tweak and I missed a few training sessions after it but I'm back on the pitch and it's looking good now for Sunday week."

34-year-old Aherne will have the chance to lift the Martin Cup for the fourth straight season but the St Sylvester's clubwoman says the pandemic-delayed 2020 campaign feels detached from their previous successes.

"It's a good measure of consistency which obviously is important. There's lots of experience in the team at this stage.

"We started out with no such a great run in terms of the finals which we lost but we've managed to turn that around and turned those final appearances into winning ones.

"This season is very different in its own right, it's been a strange season, it's even a completely different time of year to be preparing for a final.

"It feels like a stand-alone one and year on year, every year is different so I don't think what's gone before really counts for much."


16 September 2018; Sinead Aherne of Dublin celebrates after scoring her side's first goal from the penalty spot during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Dublin at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile


Last Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final between Cork and Galway proceeded in controversial circumstances following a late-switch to Croke Park due to a frozen pitch at Parnell Park. With the throw-in time also brought forward to 1pm it left the Galway panel with limited time to warm-up ahead of the match.

Aherne is hoping that lessons have been learned and that something similar won't happen again in the future.

"I think it was hugely disappointing situation for both teams and players deserve respect and deserve more than what happened.

"Particularly in the current environment and for those families who couldn't even watch the game at home. Obviously there's a number of contributing factors and people were doing what they thought was best.

"You hope that it won't occur again and sport has made huge strides but there are standards which needed and we need to move beyond just accepting our lot and just accepting things."

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