Sunday 11 December 2016

Can you name these Boys in Blue before they hit the big time?

(Answers at bottom of page)

Ryan Nugent

Published 17/09/2016 | 07:07

How well do you know the Dublin GAA stars that are set to battle it out with Mayo for glory this weekend?

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The Boys in Blue are on the hunt for a second successive All-Ireland title, and a fourth in six years.

While they've grown accustomed to togging out in the Croke Park dressing rooms - they've only played one Championship game away from GAA Headquarters in 10 years - their first experiences came very early on in their lives.

With the help of Cumann na mBunscoil (CnaB) stalwart, Jerry Grogan, the Herald has photos of Dublin GAA stars giving it their all for their primary schools.

Picture 1: Who is this (pictured front)?
Picture 1: Who is this (pictured front)?

Mr Grogan, who has been involved in CnaB for decades, knows Dublin GAA and the players inside out. He said the experience gained by kids playing at Croker whets the appetite to come back for more.

"They all say the same thing, that playing in Croke Park was a huge motivation for them," he said.

Picture 2: Storming through - who is this Boy in Blue?
Picture 2: Storming through - who is this Boy in Blue?

"Not just the current players, but players in the past - such as Alan Larkin and Jimmy Keaveney from the '70s, and then Ciaran Whelan too. The whole aura about Croke Park is something special for them," he added.

Cumann na mBunscoil were founded in 1928, with only six teams competing initially.

Picture 3: Second from the right at the back... who's the Boy in Blue?
Picture 3: Second from the right at the back... who's the Boy in Blue?

However, when the Department of Education allowed schools a half day to attend matches and support their teams, interest in the competition swelled.

"The finals have been held there since 1929 - we were founded in 1928, and schools were given a half day to go and see the finals," Jerry said.

Picture 4: Young Dubs - but who's holding the cup?
Picture 4: Young Dubs - but who's holding the cup?

"Now we have 350 schools competing."

Answers below.

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(Answers: Picture 1 is Ciaran Kilkenny; Picture 2 is Cormac Costello; Picture 3 is Tomas Brady; Picture 4 is Dean Rock)

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