After collecting her first All-Star for Dublin in 2005 aged 15, it was evident that a special career was about to unfold. Picking up another 4 All-Stars and 4 All-Ireland medals not only confirm that early promise, but elevates her in to the realm of the greats. Her home club of Skerries Harps has obviously had an impact on her upbringing. Her humilty and love for her home place is immediately transparent, and whats more is that she only wants to help make it an even better place. This week we went Clubspotting with Lyndsey Davey.
1. Describe your first memory of Skerries Harps GAA Club?
My first memory of the club was when John O’Leary came to visit with the Sam Maguire in 1995. I remember being down in the club and getting pictures with the cup with my friend’s and everyone being so excited. I would have only been six at the time but it’s hard to believe that less that 10 years later John would go on to be my first Senior manager with Dublin.
2. Who was your childhood sporting hero?
Growing up I would have always looked up to Bryan Cullen. I would have seen his progression with Dublin from a young age, watching him win the U21’s All-Ireland, all the way up to being Captain of the Senior team, as well as seeing him represent Ireland with the International Rules series. It was a very proud moment for everyone in the club watching him be the first captain, since John O’Leary in 1995, to lift the Sam Maguire in 2011. We all have great memories of the celebrations in the days following their win. The first time the Dublin ladies reached the All-Ireland final was in 2003, prior to that I would have always supported the Waterford ladies as that’s where my Nana and a lot of my family are from in An Rinn. Waterford would have been one of the main teams who would have been competing in the All-Ireland finals between 1991-2000 and I would have always gone to Croke Park to watch them. I remember always watching the finals and thinking I couldn’t wait to be able to represent Dublin in an All-Ireland final one day. From an athletics and soccer perspective and I would have been a big fan of Sonia O’ Sullivan and David Beckham.
3. What makes Skerries Harps a special club?
What makes the club so special for me is the amazing support that I get every year from everyone. I have been very lucky to played in nine All-Ireland finals with Dublin since 2004 and every year the club has made such a massive effort to paint the town Blue by putting up loads of Dublin flags and banners in support of the team. Also, every year it’s amazing to see bus loads of people from the club heading into Croker to watch us play. The crowd from Skerries Harps is always easy to spot in the stadium and I’ve been very lucky over the past three years being able to bring the Brendan Martin cup over to them for pictures and to thank them for their support. It’s always a very special moment for me.
4. What has been your proudest moment in a Skerries Harps jersey?
I think one of my proudest moments in the Skerries Harps jersey is when we won the Junior championship in 2015. The last time we won it was in 2005 so it was amazing to get back to the final and it was a really tough game against our local rivals St Maur’s. That year my sister Rebecca was our Captain and I was so proud watching her go up and collect the cup on behalf of the team.
5. Have you any superstitions or pre game rituals?
Whenever we travel to a game with Dublin I always sit in the same spot on the bus and I usually have the same people sitting around me as they too have the same habit.
The day before a game I really focus on my carb loading and hydration to ensure I have the proper fuel on board to get me through a tough game and I like heading to the sea for a swim. The night before a game I always make sure I’m organised and I have all my gear ready to go.
6. What are your hopes for Skerries Harps in the future?
We got a new clubhouse in 2015 which is fantastic and a massive addition to the club. It would be brilliant to see us expand on that by getting more adult pitches as we only have one main adult pitch at the moment. When I first started playing with Skerries, I had to play on the boys team as we didn’t have any underage girl’s teams. However, now the ladies section is going from strength to strength with many underage girls teams and two senior adult teams. We also have ‘Gaelic for Mothers and Others’ team. I hope this growth continues going forward and I would love to see the younger girls progress from the juvenile section to senior team and to hopefully take the team from Intermediate to Senior status. It would also be great to see more girls from Skerries Harps representing Dublin at Senior level.
7. Do you think the Ladies game is getting the publicity it deserves or should it be receiving more in your opinion?
I think over the last number of years there has been great improvements in the amount of publicity that the ladies game has been getting and I think a lot of that has been down to Lidl coming on board, the 20x20 campaign, and the continued support of TG4. Even if you look at the growing numbers at the All-Ireland finals over the past number years, I think a lot of that has been down to the impact of Lidl and their advertisement campaigns and increasing the exposure of the LGFA and their players. The increase in games being played before the men’s and with more games being played in bigger stadiums such as Croke Park has also helped. Last year almost 11,000 people attended the All-Ireland’s semi finals in Croke Park for the first time.
We have made great improvements over the past number of years in terms of publicity but I think it can continue to improve.