“Our players need to believe just how good they are” – Boland
Thomas Davis players celebrate their victory over Na Fianna in the Senior Ladies Football Championship semi final. Photo by Maurice Grehan.

“Our players need to believe just how good they are” – Boland

SELF-BELIEF will be a key factor for Thomas Davis senior ladies footballers if they are to take that one remaining step on the road to championship glory this season, according to manager Peter Boland.

The Tallaght side secured their place in the decider following their 1-8 to 0-10 victory over Na Fianna at DCU earlier this week and will now face off against a Kilmacud Crokes outfit that is strongly tipped to go all the way.

And while he fully appreciates that the Stillorgan side may well be wearing the favourites tag heading into next Friday’s final at Parnell Park, Boland insists his players have it in themselves to pull off another championship shock.

“The players just have to believe in themselves” he told The Echo.

“We may be the only team that believe [we can win]. Everyone else will be saying Crokes, and I suppose that’s what’s giving our girls motivation as well.

“It’s exactly the same as the Na Fianna game. Nobody gave us a chance.

“Crokes are a very pacy team. They attack you, they press on you, they don’t give you a second to breathe and they hunt you down in packs.

“I said at the start, that whoever beats them will win the Championship, because I felt they were the strongest team at the start of the year.

“We played them in a cup final earlier this year and they beat us by three points.

“They’ve all been close games between us. It was only in the championship group match that they beat us heavily.

“We didn’t play too well in that one. We probably gave them too much respect, and probably tactically, on the line, we got it wrong.

“But our players need to believe just how good they are. We’ll have to play a fast-flowing game with movement off the shoulder. Just go at them. That’s when we play our best, when we just go at teams. We can’t sit back and let teams come on to us” he stressed.

Davis were made battle all the way for their spot in their first ever senior ladies championship decider by a Na Fianna outfit that edged into a two-point lead by the halftime break in their last-four encounter this week.

That advantage was doubled after the recess before Maebh Deeney and Ciara McGuigan responded with points for the Kiltipper side that halved their arrears.

And when Colley Casey was upended in the box, Deeney held her nerve to convert the resulting penalty to propel Davis two points up.

While their opponents hit back with a late free, they were unable to close the gap by the final whistle, leaving the Davis players and their faithful to celebrate.

For team stalwarts, the likes of Siobhan McGrath, Olwen Carey and Ciara McGuigan, who have sojourned with the side for years, reaching the final is nothing more than they deserved insists Boland.

“Their commitment has been huge and they’re a massive inspiration for the young girls” he said. “For them to see these players in a senior final, it’s just great.”