New Laois boss makes bold prediction about Dublin's dominance in Leinster
Dublin's unprecedented dominance of Leinster football should energise rather than demoralise the rest of the province, according to new Laois manager Peter Creedon.
With Dublin 1/25 favourites to win next year's Leinster Championship for the 12th time in 13 seasons, there are fears that a growing sense of hopelessness could further undermine the other contenders.
However, Creedon believes it should have the opposite effect.
"It's both a challenge and an opportunity for all the other counties. Someone will eventually beat Dublin so whenever you play them, you have to believe it's going to be you," he said.
As Tipperary manager in 2012-'15, the Corkman knows all about planning for giant-killing attempts, playing Kerry three times and Cork once in the Munster Championship in successive seasons.
And while Tipp lost all four games, Creedon's term is regarded as being central to the platform-building which enabled them to press on so spectacularly this year.
He is now taking over in Laois at a time when their ranking is lower than for many years, having dropped into Division 3 last April.
They are one of several counties whose stock has dropped in recent years amid concerns that the gap between the top layer and the rest is widening at an alarming rate.
"You'd have to say that on their best days Dublin, Mayo and Kerry are well ahead of the rest with Tyrone and Donegal the closest challengers.
"They are setting the standard and it's up to everyone else to work as hard as it takes to get up to that level. There's no other way to bridge the gap," said Creedon.
Steering Laois out of Division 3 will be his first target, a task that will prove very demanding in a group that also features All-Ireland semi-finalists Tipperary, Armagh, Longford, Sligo, Offaly, Louth and Antrim.
The Laois-Longford clash will be especially important as they will meet again in the first round of the Leinster Championship, with Kildare awaiting the winners in the quarter-final.
Laois are on the opposite side of draw to Dublin.