Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Work-rate the key to Kildare's hopes – Earley

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

FORMER Kildare star Dermot Earley believes the Lilies will have to play to their very best if they're to get the better of Jim Gavin's Dublin "machine."

However, Earley, who was forced to retire earlier this year due to a serious back injury, believes that they can record Kildare's first championship win over Dublin since 2000 if they beat their opponents' work rate.

"You have to go beyond Dublin's level of intensity," said the Sarsfields midfielder. "You can't just match it.

"It sounds easy, but it is going to take a huge amount of effort because Dublin are developing into a machine.

"They move in waves, they come back in waves. How you stop that wave is very hard, but we are going to have to out-work them."

Earley believes that former Wexford manager Jason Ryan can help the Lilies crack the code to beating the Dubs.

"Jason was able to get his Wexford team to match Dublin and was unlucky," said Earley. "He has really brought an added dimension to Kildare's play this year. His enthusiasm is unbelievable. His attention to detail, all the coaching that he does and the one-to-one chats can help us."

Earley made a goal-scoring contribution in the Leinster final replay in 2000 – Kildare's last provincial crown – and a similar success would be the ideal tonic for the county's new wave of players.

"Winning a Leinster title would be unbelievable," added the former All Star. "I was lucky enough to win one in my second year and what it did for me as a player was unbelievable. To get over a team like Dublin would be massive for the younger players."

Irish Independent

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