Doohan demands that Sligo's jinx must end

Doohan demands that Sligo’s jinx must end

Darragh Cox

Sligo Weekender


SLIGO’S Ladies Footballers are heading to Croke Park
on Sunday to take the trophy back to the Yeats County.

Not because they have beaten this weekends opponents, Leitrim, almost
every time they have met them in the past few years (this years
Connacht final being a telling exception).

Not because they have any sort of divine right to lift the trophy
at the third time of asking. Not because they are over-confident.

But, insists captain Angela Doohan, because the current squad of
players are absolutely determined not to stumble at the final hurdle
once again.

We know it is going to be very tough. Leitrim have improved a lot
this year and we are well aware of what they can do after the Connacht
final. We certainly do not see ourselves as favourites going into
the match, but there is a great spirit among the girls in the squad
at the moment.

There is a real determination among us going to Coke Park that we
are not going to lose again. We have put in a lot of work since
the Connacht final.

Sligo report no injury worries ahead of the big game, a very different
situation from the build-up to the Connacht final at the start of

That time Doohan was one of a number of players carrying niggling
injuries ahead of that game, but she says that the whole panel is
fighting fit ahead of this Sundays showpiece.

We had a game among ourselves during the week and it went very well,
so we have given the management team plenty of selection headaches.

Doohan is probably more determined than most ahead of Sundays match.
She played a full part in Sligos two heart-breaking defeats to Kildare
in 2004 and to Armagh in 2005 at the same venue and she has already
tasted failure in her first year as captain, as the side surprisingly
lost to Leitrim in this year’s Connacht final.

Unlike Jackie Mulligan, the 2004 captain, and Caroline Currid and
Louise Harte, last year’s joint-captains, Doohan goes into the final
without having already accepted a trophy.

She also witnessed her brother, Padraig, taste defeat with Bunnanadden
in the Sligo Senior Championship final at Markievicz Park on Sunday.

Such is Doohan’s commitment that she was reduced to tears as Sligo
narrowly overcame Clare in the semi-final to earn another shot at
the title.

She said: The defeats were devastating for me and the squad. But
it is really encouraging to see that the team has not lost its determination
and hunger to get back to Croke Park.

We decided at the start of the year that we were determined to get
back. Many people said we wouldn’t and we weren’t considered as
contenders, especially after the Leitrim defeat. But that acted
as a wake-up call for us and we have proved people wrong.

Should Sligo finally get their hands on the holy grail of Senior
grade Ladies Football, which will accompany a win on Sunday, the
panel will certainly be casting an eye upon Armagh, last year’s
Junior winners, who will face Cork in the All-Ireland Senior final
immediately after the Junior tie.

They [Armagh] have come on leaps and bounds, even since last year’s
final. They have done really well. It gives us confidence that we
can make an impact at senior level. We can look at how well they
have done and ask why can’t that be us? Why not.

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