Three-in-a-row winner Nicole Owens has rejected claims that a large gap has opened between the Dublin ladies and their rivals.
Just like the men’s team, the Jackies have closed out the decade with a series of All-Ireland wins, claiming the Brendan Martin Cup in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Owens missed last month’s final win over Galway due to a cruciate knee ligament setback though fought bravely to line out against Cork in the semi-final before breaking down.
It was Dublin’s sixth final appearance in a row and Mayo’s Sarah Rowe claimed in August that the holders have “sponsorships here, there and everywhere and it’s really hard to compete with that. A lot of people are buying into what they are doing and for Mayo to try and keep up with that is tough”.
Rowe added: “It’s going to noticeably get bigger over the next few years, their dominance, and you can just tell they definitely have a bit more than every other county and it definitely seems to be very professional for them.”
Owens said she personally hasn’t experienced any negativity towards their streak of successes and denied that they have greater access to resources or funding than any of their rivals.
Asked if she feels a chasm has emerged, Owens said: “No, to be honest, it doesn’t feel like that. I’m not going to underestimate the support we’ve had from our county board and the sponsors that have been involved with us but we’re still out there four days a week doing our sessions and learning year on year, exactly the same as Mayo are or Cork are.
Firstly, I don’t think there’s a gap at all. I think next year it all opens up again. And I also don’t think there’s a massive, massive difference in resources between all of the teams.
Dublin also won the 2010 All-Ireland though their current winning run pales in comparison to the 11 titles Cork won between 2005 and 2016.
“I suppose part of that talk is the legacy of coming off the back of our three in a row but it is nothing compared to Cork, who did the five in a row twice,” said Owens. “It was only 2016 that they were winning their fifth title in a row.
“I think from that end anyway, it’s hard to turn around and be like, ‘Three in a row, Dublin have too many resources’. It’s like, ‘Well, actually, three years ago, Cork were doing this’.”
Various members of Dublin’s men’s team revealed their frustration at criticism of the county and its resources following their five in a row win.
“I suppose we’ve been lucky at the moment, I don’t think sentiment has swung against us, which is kind of what’s happened to the lads,” said Owens.
The talented forward is currently recovering from knee surgery following a cruciate injury suffered in the warm-up before playing Monaghan in July.
“There were so many things I was trying to look at afterwards, I was wearing blades, which is one of the things they say (can cause the injury),” said Owens. “But then again, I have done that exact same movement hundreds of times in my life. It is one of those things.
I don’t know if I was tired or fatigued, I don’t really know. The few days after, the thing I had to let go of, was that I never do one-on-ones at the end of the warm-up which is when it happened.
“It was 30 seconds before the match and I never do one-on-ones, I just take a few shots and ease away. For the first few days I was, ‘Why did I do a one on one?’ But you can’t control it. If I hadn’t done that, I could still have done it two minutes into the match.”