Sunday 19 February 2017

Teams just don't believe they can beat Dublin now - Giles

Published 26/04/2016 | 02:30

Mayo U-21 captain Stephen Coen (left) and his Cork counterpart Stephen Cronin with EirGrid ambassador Trevor Giles ahead of Saturday's EirGrid U-21 All-Ireland football championsip final in Ennis Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Mayo U-21 captain Stephen Coen (left) and his Cork counterpart Stephen Cronin with EirGrid ambassador Trevor Giles ahead of Saturday's EirGrid U-21 All-Ireland football championsip final in Ennis Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Meath legend Trevor Giles believes Dublin's dominance of inter-county football is such that it could affect attendances at matches this summer.

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The double All-Ireland winner watched on as the reigning All-Ireland champions dismantled Kerry in Croke Park on Sunday.

And he reckons that their superiority could lead to more empty seats.

"I think they've just become dominant and I think they're going to stay that way for a few years which, for a neutral, probably isn't ideal in terms of if Dublin are playing somebody, are you going to watch it? Because it's going to be one-sided.

"I think a lot of the games Dublin will be involved in you could say, 'They're going to win this game, it's not going to be a contest'. So, it's great for Dublin but it's probably a bit of a problem for the game and (the media) writing about it. How are you going to make it exciting or interesting?"

Young

Dublin's unbeaten run now stands at 22 games after Sunday's win and they are likely to stretch that streak to at least 25 with their now annual stroll through Leinster.

And while Dublin look to have gone from strength to strength this term, the rest of the main contenders in Leinster look to have taken a backwards step.

Last year's beaten provincial finalists Westmeath were relegated to the basement division in the spring. Kildare were chinned by Clare in the Division 3 final last Saturday night, while Giles' own Meath retained their Division 2 status on score difference, 12 months after narrowly missing out on promotion to the top flight.

And Giles believes Meath are simply too inexperienced to make a dent in Dublin's dominance.

"The way I'd look at it, Harry Rooney is at midfield, he's 21 and Harry's a good lad. In three or four years he's going to be a real good midfielder.

"You're not going to dominate a game at midfield at county level at 21. But with Conor Gillespie having to step back with injury, Adam Flanagan being out for the year, apart from Harry you've hardly any other midfielders.

"Like, Cian O'Brien from Ratoath has come through at the end of the league but Cian is still a very young player. If you're trying to hold onto a lead and you've a 21-year-old there in the middle of the field, to me that's asking a lot. If you had Conor Gillespie beside Harry, 28 years of age, it would be lovely and then you just need to get a settled centre-back.

"If you'd those three positions nailed down, you can talk about holding onto a lead I think. But Meath are just too young in those positions."

And Giles believes teams and players no longer truly believe they have a chance when taking on Jim Gavin's all-conquering side.

"You'd be kind of wondering now, any team going out against Dublin, do they really believe they can win it? I don't know. They're just a really, really good team at the moment.

"I think certainly if you're going out playing them as an individual, you have to say, 'Okay these are the best team around and maybe one of the best teams in a long time so let's see what I'm made of as a player and how I stack up against them. Can I survive against them and compete'?"

Mark

The Skryne man agreed that Dublin's second successive win over Kerry in a national final will have left its mark on Eamonn Fitzmaurice's side.

"The kind of dominance they've had in Leinster for a few years, it's spreading nationally now. I kind of had themselves and Kerry as the top two teams, you know. After Sunday, they're a little bit ahead of Kerry.

"That's a few wins they've had against Kerry in big games so that can chip away at a team," Giles added.

"If you keep losing to the same team, you start losing a little bit of belief that you can beat them."

Irish Independent

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