Kerry’s Cáit Lynch admits last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Meath is something the group will never "really be able to put to bed".
Lynch, who has yet to watch the game back, readily accepts that Meath were the better team but she had plenty of regrets from the game in terms of not implementing the kick-out strategy and missed scoring opportunities.
“It’s on the mind of everyone in the panel, management and players, this year,” she says of the 3-10 to 1-7 defeat, a scoreline which was harsh on the losers.
“We’ve discussed it a small bit but we’re in the early stages of the season as well. The management has discussed it an awful lot internally and our performances last year, not just the All-Ireland.
“At the start of this year, it’s all been about trying to get that fitness up, improving our strength and conditioning to try and get a good start in the league. As the weeks go by, we’ll start reviewing what happened in the All-Ireland and what we need to do.
“It certainly hasn’t been forgotten about – I don’t think we’ll ever really be able to put it to bed – and that’s what happens when you lose an All-Ireland but the minds are focused. We don’t want to feel that loss again this year.”
The experienced Castleisland woman never had thoughts of retiring at the end of last season.
“I want to be able to finish my career with an All-Ireland. It’s not the only reason we play football but I think there’s the potential of an All-Ireland within the team and to lose an All-Ireland is a difficult way to finish up.” Kerry scraped a one-point win over Waterford in their Division 1 opener at the weekend and face Mayo in Bekan this Saturday.
“There’d be no big heads after the game on Sunday but in fairness Waterford put in a great performance as well,” she said. “We were very lucky to come out with the win. Being up in Division 1 this year, any win you can get is a positive thing but there are certainly a lot of learnings from Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Lynch has expressed her delight at Kerry’s decision to move away from white to dark shorts as a means of easing players’ concerns while on their period.
“I was hoping we would make that switch. We’ve seen the amount of girls that drop off playing sport so if there’s anything we can do. This is something simple that we can do, it’s not the biggest change in the world, but if that keeps any few girls playing football then it’s a really brilliant thing to do.
“On game days, you’ve enough going on around trying to think about what you’re going. Getting your hydration in, think about who you’re going to be marking. If you’re on your period then you might be bloated, you might have cramps and not having to worry about white shorts is just one less thing to worry about on an already hectic day. I’m absolutely over the moon. Hopefully, more counties, more teams across different codes start to make the switch as well.”