| 19.7°C Dublin

Mun's Dublin stars in tip-top shape - Rock


Rónán Mac Lochlainn

Rónán Mac Lochlainn

Rónán Mac Lochlainn

Dean Rock is confident that he and his fellow Ballymun Kickhams county stars are in as good a condition as possible ahead of their Dublin SFC semi-final against Kilmacud Crokes in Parnell Park today.

After their heroics in county colours, Ballymun's quintet of intercounty players returned to club fare in their 1-17 to 1-9 victory over St Brigid's last Saturday week and Rock believes that the delay in Dublin resuming training at the start of the year is central to their relative freshness at this time.

"A lot of lads are extremely fresh now. Personally I feel fresh and the same thing can be said for Philly (McMahon), Smally (John Small), Evan (Comerford) and James (McCarthy)," he said.

"We've all come back in really good shape whereas in previous years, we've come back with some sort of niggle or some sort of injury, but everyone is perfect now.

"I think a lot of it was due to the fact that we did come back a little bit later in the season and we didn't really go 'gung ho' for the National League as such.

"We trained away, played our games and come Championship, then we managed to peak at the right time and win the All-Ireland and that was obviously the main objective."

The 27-year-old is hopeful of securing a second senior county title with Kickhams and feels that the team will improve from their sluggish opening against St Brigid's at the quarter-final stage.

"We started off really slowly but I feel that was just having so many county lads back with the panel for the first time in a long time but now it gives us an extra two weeks together where we can train on Tuesday and Thursday and really start to build the camaraderie," he said.

"We've got a big one now against Kilmacud and it's a game we're looking forward to. It's great to be back to the club, it's a great distraction to have."

Today's Ballymun v Kilmacud Crokes game is the opener in a double-header, with holders St Vincent's facing St Jude's afterwards (6.45).