Friday 23 February 2018

Dean hoping to follow in father Barney's title-winning footsteps

Barney Rock in action for Dublin in 1985.
Barney Rock in action for Dublin in 1985.

WHEN Dean Rock steps out onto the hallowed turf of Croke Park on Sunday he will be hoping to repeat history and do what his father did almost 30 years to the day before – win an All-Ireland medal.

In 1983, legendary Dubs forward Barney Rock was part of the a Dublin All-Ireland winning team and next Sunday his talented son has a chance to repeat the feat.

You might expect Barney to be more nervous now than when he was playing as he waits to see his son run out for the Dubs, but he said that playing was definitely more difficult.

'The nerves when you are playing are worse because you have something you have to do. I don't have to do anything this time except enjoy the game and it's just exciting now waiting for it all to happen,' Barney told the Fingal Independent.

He remembers All-Ireland week in his own playing days and no doubt his son has similar feelings as the big day approaches.

'You just think the day will never come and you are excited to get going. You can't wait for the day and when it comes, the day just flies in,' he said.

But the Dubs legend said he won't be giving his son much advice and admits the preparations he and the Dublin squad had in 1983 may not be the best way to prepare today.

'The game is totally different today and these players know exactly what they are doing and have lots of people in the backroom team giving them advice. It's 30 years on since my final and it's a different ball game,' Barney said.

Barney is proud of his son and has no worries about his ability to handle the big occasion. Successes at club and underage inter-county level will stand to Dean who is described as 'very level-headed' by his father.

Barney admitted the tag of 'super sub' is a title that Dean has to 'grin and bear' for the moment but said that his performances off the bench have made a huge impact this season and it's a '20 man game now, not 16 or 17 like it was in our day'.

The Ballamadun lad will be among six Fingal players in the squad on All-Ireland day and Barney believes the Dubs can take Sam home once again.

'It will be even-steven. The best two teams are in the final and I said all along it would be a Dublin/Mayo final.

'It will be 50/50 on the day and I hope Dublin will just squeeze over the line. They just need a bit of luck and the bounce of the ball.'

We all hope he is right and this team of Dubs laden with men from Fingal will take Sam Maguire back to capital one more time.

Fingal Independent

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