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We will need to improve to defend All-Ireland: Bastick

IF one man typified the drive and insatiable hunger of Dublin's All-Ireland-winning team, it was midfielder Denis Bastick, who flourished in the environment created by Pat Gilroy.

The Templeogue Synge Street clubman gave a string of impressive displays throughout the year, while it seems a penchant towards selfless endeavour was not restricted to just match days, given the satisfaction Bastick derived from the whole process.

"The thing that sticks out most and that we enjoy reflecting on is the training that we did. It's a reminder of what we went through as a group and what it's all about.

"It brings you back to the effort and pain you went through during the year.

"It is great looking back on the final but the memories of training and the bond it created is equally enjoyable."



IMPROVE

Resting on one's laurels doesn't sit easy with Bastick, with the internal competition for places and the desire to continually improve providing a potent formula as Dublin look to replicate the glory of last September.

"We have to increase what we did last year and up our game but we're very much looking forward to it.

"Every player was chomping at the bit to be involved. I was lucky enough to play most of the games and I really enjoyed it and look forward to being able to do the same next year.

"You know that if anything happened to you last year or you weren't up to scratch then there would be someone more than able to come in and take your place. We had Barry (Cahill), myself, (Michael Darragh) Macauley, Eamon Fennell and Ross McConnell who were all looking to be involved, so the competition for places was fierce and that was a huge help to us.

"I think we're all aware that there is more in us and there is definitely room for improvement if we tweak things slightly.

"We perhaps had a bit of luck on our side this year but we know that if that luck deserts us and we don't build on this year then we'll be out of the championship before we know it.



REPEAT

"I think the Tyrone game was probably my best ever performance for Dublin but I will definitely need to repeat that type of display, as we all need to," he said.

Looking ahead to next year, Gilroy's confirmation as manager for the coming year is a positive development according to Bastick.

"Pat has put systems and procedures in place that everyone has bought into and it would have been a big adjustment for us if someone else was involved," he said. "We won't be taking anything for granted, whatever happens, as things can change in a flash in football."


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