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We'll be back

PAT Gilroy has vowed to be back for another tilt at Sam Maguire in 2011 with the same group of players who came so agonisingly close to a final appearance when they lost to Cork by just one point in yesterday's semi-final at Croke Park.

The Dubs boss had watched his young side lead the All-Ireland favourites for practically all of the 73 minutes played before a late spell of indiscipline and some questionable awarding of frees from referee, Maurice Deegan, gave Donncha O'Connor the opportunity to pip his team at the death.

"I have another year to go and I couldn't ask any more from that group and what they've done for the county," said a despondent Gilroy afterwards. "They've thrown everything at it. Everything they could possibly give and it just wasn't good enough."

Gilroy has overseen a transformation this year since Dublin's humbling 11-point defeat to Meath, and while stressing they had achieved certain goals for the year, challenged his team to achieve their ultimate ambition next season.

"Certainly one of the objectives we set which was closing the gaps to the top teams so we can compete with them," he said. "But it's time for us now to push on and that's the big challenge for next year.

"Where we were last year to where we are now is a really a different place but it's important now that we as a team push on. It's a very young group. We have closed that gap. There's a point between us and one of the top teams. But it's time to push on."

Gilroy also predicted that there would be no retirements from the current group.

"Of the fellas that are there, there is nobody old in that dressing room," he said. "I think we have the majority of the fellas that we need."