Sunday 18 February 2018

Dubs have big advantages to help stay top of pile

John Mullane

DON'T knock Dublin just because they're successful. I didn't notice many people giving out about them when they weren't winning All-Irelands.

Granted, they were dominant in Leinster but it's taken them a long time to get to where they are, and a hell of a lot of hard work.

However, I do accept that Dublin have a massive advantage on their competitors in terms of finance. Croke Park has never been in a healthier financial state and the GAA does some wonderful things but they must invest in other counties to keep them competitive.

My own county, Waterford, are struggling big time and could do with a dig-out every now and then. But there are other counties in a similar situation because it seems to me that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

There are pros and cons to the new Sky deal. It's good if the money goes in the right direction, and that means helping out county boards, and if that happens it can have a positive knock-on effect on the playing field.

Dublin's bumper deal with AIG, announced last year, has taken them to a new level again. But for all the talk of them pushing on and winning multiple All-Ireland football titles, we've seen how the GAA tends to go in cycles.

Time will be the judge of how good this Dublin football team is but they are very explosive and incredibly fast.

Credit to manager Jim Gavin for taking on the blanket defence – he deserves great praise for that.

It appears that other teams are taking Dublin's lead now by adopting an attacking attitude, and that can only be good for football. But it seems that Dublin have teams beaten before they even hit the pitch.

And playing all of the time at Croke Park is a massive advantage.

Their players seem so comfortable there and I'd like to see them taken out of their comfort zone by playing games in other venues throughout Leinster.

Dublin's hurlers have certainly benefited from playing in different grounds.

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