Tuesday 28 March 2017

Henry points to early morning winter toil as reason behind Dubs' revival

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The memory of dangerous early morning treks on ice-packed roads across the capital city for training sessions in hostile conditions have helped to fortify Dublin's mid-season recovery, according to Dublin captain David Henry.

Henry feels the work done in the earlier part of the season and the memory of the sacrifices involved meant they were never going to quit on the season when things went awry after losing to Meath.

With Dublin on the cusp of a first All-Ireland final appearance for 15 years, Henry says they can reflect on January and say it was worth it.

"Things can fall apart or you can pull together a bit tighter," he said. "I think that's what we did. We did a fair bit of hard training and a lot of work through the winter and when you have that work done, you're less likely to give in.

"Some years you wouldn't really go that hard early on in the year. When you know you've given that commitment and that effort, there's no way you'll let that all go to waste."

Henry accepts that there was an element of madness about what they set out to do in the middle of arguably the worst winter in living memory.

"It seems kind of an unnatural thing to get up that early in the morning. But it was only a couple of times. The bad weather in early January put a stop to them, thank God. But there was a couple of them.

"We focused well on each league game. And all of that was something that we haven't done in a few years. The fact that we did that, it made us all say to each other, 'what's the point in having all this done if we're going to throw the towel now?'"

Taking a scalp, as they did against Tyrone, has also changed the landscape for this Dublin team.

"You would always look to the best teams in the country and the three teams that you would have felt were them were Tyrone, Cork and Kerry," said Henry.

"To beat one of them was very satisfying because the last couple of years, while we felt we were going well going into the Tyrone game and the Kerry game in '08 and '09, they were devastating defeats. It was just so important for us to perform against them."

Dublin (SF v Cork) -- S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O'Carroll, P McMahon; K Nolan, G Brennan, C O'Sullivan; R McConnell, MD Macauley; N Corkery, A Brogan, B Cullen; D Henry, E O'Gara, B Brogan.

Irish Independent

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