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'I expect us to beat Galway' - legend Jimmy backs Dubs

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Dublin great Jimmy Keaveney is still a big fan. Photo: coriordan

Dublin great Jimmy Keaveney is still a big fan. Photo: coriordan

Dublin great Jimmy Keaveney is still a big fan. Photo: coriordan

You would have been afraid to tell people you played for Dublin in the 1960s - the only other time the Dubs met Galway in a league final - according to Hill 16 hero Jimmy Keaveney.

The former All-Star forward captained the Boys in Blue when they were beaten in the 1967 final, and said the interest in Gaelic football went downhill from then until Kevin Heffernan arrived in 1973.

Jimmy (73) said that just before Heffernan arrived, he had decided to call it a day at the age of 28 because he had a "pain in my a**e with the lack of interest" in the sport in the capital.

Jimmy said is confident the Dubs can go on to make it five All-Ireland titles in a row with the current team, beating Kerry's record of four.

He also expects the team to beat Galway tomorrow.

Dublin have not defeated their western rivals since 2001 - a total of six matches - but Jimmy is confident of change.

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Jimmy during his playing days. Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland

Jimmy during his playing days. Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland

Jimmy during his playing days. Photo: Independent Newspapers Ireland

"I expect us to win, it's a great team," he said.

"I'll be disappointed if they don't win the next two All-Irelands."

Decline

Asked about his memories of the 1967 final, Jimmy said the team had been in steep decline at that stage, when they lost by two points.

"It was downhill from then until the 1970s really," he said.

"The training wasn't intense like it was when Kevin Heffernan took over in the 1970s.

"We'd do a few sprints and then a few laps of Parnell Park twice a week.

"You'd have been afraid to tell people you played for Dublin in the mid to late-1960s."

The Dublin legend had given up all hope with the county team by 1973 when Heffernan took charge.

There had been no swell of support for the Boys in Blue during that period and the team was going nowhere.

Jimmy was only 28 when he decided enough was enough and that he would rather focus on playing football and hurling with St Vincent's.

That was until Heffo convinced him otherwise, and the team went on to win three All-Ireland titles in that decade.

"I had a pain in my a**e with it. I chucked it in. There was no great interest in the county team at the time," he said.


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