Brid Stack says that having women’s football matches on double bills with men’s league games is a huge step forward.
Stack won an incredible 11 All-Ireland medals with the Rebels before announcing her retirement recently, but they rarely got to enjoy the limelight that usually shines on men’s teams.
Remarkably, Cork women’s footballers have never played a game at county’s ground in Páirc Uí Chaoimh – but that will be addressed in March.
The Rebels will take on Donegal on Saturday, March 16 as part of the same bill as Cork’s men’s clash with Donegal.
"I was one of the old brigade and we never got a chance to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but here they are on a double-header with the Cork footballers," said Stack, speaking to RTÉ Sport.
"They’re training in Páirc Uí Chaoimh now, which was the stuff of dreams when we were younger.
"There were a few double-headers in the last few years and people might say that fans are only coming in at half-time, but you can’t measure what that does mean for ladies football that might not be getting that many people at their matches.
"I know the (women’s) All-Ireland finals get big crowds, but when I was playing and we were getting to All-Ireland finals, our crowds for semi-finals and quarter-finals – you were relying on mom and dad in the stands to roar you on."
Stack has welcomed this move and sees it as part of a wider shift which has brought greater coverage of and emphasis on women’s sports.
"There’s been a monumental shift," she said.
"When we started we were relying on local reporters and it wasn’t being pushed to the forefront. We won our first All-Ireland in ’05 and the Cork hurlers won the same year, so who was going to take precedence there?
"We just rolled with it for a long time because we knew no different, but thankfully the coverage has grown over the years."