Treacy: Leinster will be a battle
Dublin star David Treacy is predicting "one of the most competitive" Leinster Championships of recent times later this summer.
The eastern province has been dominated by Kilkenny since the turn of the millennium, with Brian Cody guiding the Cats to an incredible 14 of the last 17 titles, with only Wexford (2004), Galway (2012) and Dublin (2013) interrupting their dominance.
However, last weekend saw the possible emergence of new powers within the province as Wexford beat Kilkenny in a league quarter-final, while Galway also progressed to the last four.
"It's certainly going to be one of the most competitive years ever," Treacy (above) says. "The strides that Wexford have made this year. Kilkenny - if you're writing them off, I think that's a foolish thing to do, to be honest. Galway playing well again at the weekend, it's nicely poised for a really competitive Leinster Championship. It's up to us to prepare for Galway. It's a really, really big task, getting our heads around that massive challenge."
Treacy's Dublin will face the Tribesmen on the back of a disappointing Division 1A campaign that saw them slip down a division.
Dublin were tipped to struggle as they without Treacy and the rest of the Cuala contingent for much of the campaign as they went on their record-breaking run and became the first Dublin club to secure All-Ireland Club SHC honours.
They were back in harness for last weekend's relegation play-off defeat to Clare but Treacy is determined to look at the bright side as Dublin blooded a host of new faces who competed well with the big guns for periods in most games.
"There were many positives from the league games. Ger (Cunningham) is a good judge of character. If he thought it was too big, he wouldn't put someone out. The likes of Donal Burke has been fantastic for Dublin this year. If the Cuala lads were there he mightn't have gotten the chance. It's brilliant to see the likes of him step up.
"Eoghan O'Donnell has probably had one of the best performances at full-back for any team throughout the league, the men he had to mark.
"It is a young side. But there is a case to be that there is a certain amount of fearlessness there. There is no pressure there. But for key moments in matches, we could have been on the right side of results in the league. There are a lot of positives."