Dublin's All-Star defender Sinead Goldrick faces a race against time to prove her fitness if she is to play any part in Sunday’s TG4 Leinster SFC Final against Westmeath.
A broken arm in the week before Dublin’s Lidl NFL semi-final loss to Cork has taken longer than expected to heal, and chasing her eighth Leinster senior medal, Goldrick (28) is eager to play her part at Netwatch Cullen Park (4pm).
"It’s getting there. I’m out of the cast. It’s going well. I’m back training.
"We’ll see how it goes in terms of contact and see what the physio and management say," said Goldrick, who won her second TG4 All-Ireland Senior medal last season.
"I didn't have that much football in the League. I’m a bit off the pace and I’m happy to be back training. It is a bit of a complicated fracture so it has taken a bit longer that first thought. I’m happy to be out of the cast."
Goldrick made her Dublin debut against Meath back in 2007 as a minor, but she didn’t play her first Leinster final until 2012, and since then Dublin have remained unbeaten in provincial deciders.
For the last two years it has been a two-horse race in the Leinster senior championship since Kildare’s relegation and Goldrick says she love to see one of the province’s intermediate teams make the step up as All-Ireland champions, to compete in the senior ranks in 2020.
But no matter who the opposition might be, Goldrick places huge value on her Leinster final victories.
"I think Dublin have 14 Leinster wins at this stage. People ask do you care about the Leinster and you definitely do. You want to have as many titles as you can.
"To win Leinster is something that we take huge pride in. It’s a competitive game. For sure the talent is there in the province and you’d love more senior teams for the game to progress. This time next year it’d be great to have more games before the final.
"Westmeath have a new management team this year and they are a very strong running team. I think there is a bit of bite in it, so I think it’s very competitive every time we play them."
Goldrick won her sixth All-Star award hot on the heels of her second All-Ireland win last September and after losing three straight finals to Cork, returning the favour in 2018 was sweet.
In Dublin we take the League seriously
But defeat to the Munster side after extra-time in this year’s Lidl NFL Division 1 semi-final was a blow for Dublin, and Goldrick she sees an extra edge in Cork this year.
"In Dublin we take the League seriously. We lost to Cork in extra-time in the semi-final so there are things there to look to improve. We weren’t fully disappointed – we wanted to win – but we still took a lot from it.
"Cork were brilliant against Waterford in the Munster final too. Saoirse Noonan is starting. Eimear Scally, Orla Finn, they have huge depth. They will always (have that sort of talented player) there but they do have an extra edge about them this year."