Cahill: Reborn Andrews gives Fitzmaurice an extra headache
Published 15/09/2015 | 02:30
There's an image of Paddy Andrews in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 Leinster final. Arm pushed towards the camera, all five digits extended to salute Dublin's fifth Leinster title on the bounce. That was Paddy Andrews, the corner-back.
A few weeks later, a previously limp Kerry tore them apart in the All-Ireland quarter-final. The full-back line of Andrews, Denis Bastick and David Henry were trying to keep out the tide with teaspoons.
The defeat forced then manager Pat Gilroy back to the drawing board. And when he came up with a plan that would win them an All-Ireland in 2011, Andrews wasn't in the picture.
The St Brigid's man was cut after the 2011 League final and was a spectator as Dublin claimed an All-Ireland title for the first time in 16 years.
"2011 was very tough for him when he got dropped and we went on to win the All-Ireland," recalls Andrews' St Brigid's clubmate Barry Cahill. "Brigid's had a really good run that year, we won the Dublin championship and got to the Leinster club final; he was outstanding in that game and that put him back in the shop window again.
"When Jim Gavin was appointed he was delighted because he worked with Jim at U-21s and would have felt that Jim was a believer in Paddy as a footballer, and he knew, going into 2013, that it was a case of now or never.
"He had a really good year in 2013, helping Dublin win the All-Ireland. With Jim there he always felt that if he was injury-free and playing well, he had a pretty good chance of starting."
Like many of the Dublin team, Andrews' form hadn't been deeply analysed until their two dates with Mayo. Andrews started the drawn game brightly, kicking two early points, but he was withdrawn on 54 minutes for Alan Brogan.
In the replay he was superb, kicking five points from play from a variety of angles and distances. And Cahill believes his performances have given Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice an additional headache this week.
"He's had a difficult career with Dublin, but I feel Dublin are better with him in the team. I think others around him benefit," he said.
"What impressed me the last day was how clinical he was. He didn't take too much out of the ball - as soon as he got it, he looked and took a score. He did a bit of damage on Keith Higgins, which doesn't happen too often.
"He's kicked 10 points from play in the last three games, which is serious going. Maybe Eamonn Fitzmaurice wouldn't have been overly focused on him going into the final up until last Saturday, but he'll probably have to do a bit more homework on him."