Macauley pays tribute to Dubs who battled in barren years
AS one of the newer members of the champions' panel, Dublin midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley paid tribute to the 'inbetweeners' who had played for Dublin in the barren years from 1996 to 2010.
"There's huge names that have worn that blue jersey and have tried to bring Sam back," Macauley said. "The likes of (Ciaran) Whelan and Collie Moran and Senan Connell, there's loads of these lads, Peadar Andrews, I was chatting to him last night. I think I was just happy to be involved with the team.
"A lot of things just fell in together at the right time. There's a lot that has to happen for a team to win an All-Ireland. It's not just talent.
"It's a huge amount of things that have to fall in together and it fell together for this team."
Macauley made his full championship debut against Tipperary just last year and has grown to become one of Dublin's most significant figures.
Statistics (right) released by Vodafone yesterday showed that he and Alan Brogan handled more ball for Dublin than anyone else.
"It's ridiculous that it's come full circle," said Macauley. "Definitely when I was teenager, I never thought I was good enough. I don't think I was good enough but then out of minor I thought, 'I'm going to have a crack at this' and it was firmly on the radar then."
Macauley also believes the Dubs won't have to wait 16 years for another All-Ireland title.
"I think, hopefully, we're coming into a good era for Dublin football," he said. "I think we're capable. I think there's a good mix. The minors are coming through, the U-21s. Dublin football is in a very healthy state at the moment and it's going to be an interesting few years.
"We have a nice balance between young and old. There's lads that came into the team that didn't have this hang-up about northern teams and Kerry teams and just went out there to play football."