Carla Rowe: All-conquering Dubs can get even better

'If you're not improving and not developing much greater than everyone else is then you're in trouble'
Carla Rowe: All-conquering Dubs can get even better

Lidl ambassador Carla Rowe of Dublin pictured to mark the launch of the 2021 Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues. Lidl and the LGFA have teamed up to announce that they will be live-streaming 50 games from the 2021 competition. Picture: Sam Barnes

All-Star forward Carla Rowe insists Dublin still haven't hit their peak despite winning their last 21 Championship games in a row.

The four-in-a-row All-Ireland winners begin their Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1B campaign on Sunday at home to Waterford at Parnell Park, a repeat of last season's Championship clash.

Rowe said it will be another opportunity for a team that has already set fresh standards of excellence to get even closer to the perfection they crave.

Speaking at the announcement that sponsors Lidl and the LGFA have arranged for 50 games in the leagues to be streamed live, attacker Rowe said that manager Mick Bohan continually reminds them of how they are "being chased" by every other county.

"For so many years in a row we were chasing Cork and this year we're the ones being hunted and being chased, as we were in the last couple of years," said Rowe. "So if you're not improving and not developing much greater than everyone else is then you're in trouble.

"We still think, and as a group we'd say it, that we haven't hit the best performance that we know is capable from us. There have been highlights of it here and there, maybe 20 minutes in different matches but we haven't got that one complete performance so we'd be striving to improve and to reach those goals."

Dublin's Carla Rowe scores a goal of the game from the penalty spot in last year's All-Ireland final. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Dublin's Carla Rowe scores a goal of the game from the penalty spot in last year's All-Ireland final. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

It's been confirmed in advance of the league campaign that Sinead Aherne will captain Dublin for a fifth year with experienced defender Niamh Collins named as the vice-captain.

"I can just sum her up in one word, phenomenal," said Rowe of Aherne. "Just as a leader, as a person, as a player. She'd be a quiet type of person and she brings that into her leadership role in ways. But when she speaks everyone knows to listen and everyone knows this is serious business.

"She goes about her business brilliantly. She's led us fantastically, not only in the last couple of years as captain but in all of her years with Dublin. She's always been a leader and someone we look up to."

As for the chasing pack, Rowe suggested that it is a big one.

"Donegal, I know last year they mightn't have been happy with their year, but we always see them as a massive threat. They have unbelievable forwards. Armagh, 100% you can't write them off, they were brilliant last year. Cork, Galway, it really is very competitive. The league shows up those things, you can see how different teams are developing so it's a great thing to look forward to, to have those very tight competitive matches coming."

- The LGFA and sponsors Lidl have confirmed that 50 games in the 2021 Lidl Ladies NFL will be streamed live and available to view for free. TG4 have already committed to showing 10 live games, including the four divisional finals, so viewers can watch 60 games in the 2021 leagues for free.

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