Sunday 18 February 2018

Cahill 'concern' over Dublin defence

Barry Cahill has real fears about Dublin's defensive capabilities
Barry Cahill has real fears about Dublin's defensive capabilities

Orla Bannon

Barry Cahill is convinced Alan Brogan will play a key role in Dublin's All-Ireland bid this summer, but is worried about the team's troublesome knack of conceding too many goals.

The former Dublin player, an All-Ireland winner alongside Brogan in 2011, has no qualms about the 33-year-old's return to Jim Gavin's squad after sitting out the successful Allianz League campaign.

However it's at the end of the field where he finds cause for concern.

Still worried that a lack of competition within Leinster will leave Dublin "undercooked" come the business end of things in August, Cahill has expressed real fears about the team's defensive capabilities.

"Even though they have tightened up a small bit in defence from last year, and I think having Cian O'Sullivan back at No 6 is definitely going to help them, they still gave up four goal chances in the league final and Cork scored two of them," said Cahill. "If you look at the last two All-Ireland semi-finals Dublin have played in, they have conceded six goals - three to Kerry and three to Donegal.

"So there would be an area of concern for teams who play a two-man full-forward line. It does leave Dublin a small bit exposed."

Cahill believes Brogan's superior fitness levels and link-play will see him push hard for a starting spot come August.

"Starting off, you'll probably see him getting 15, 20 minutes in games in Leinster but by the time August comes around, he will be pushing really hard for a starting place.

"Having played alongside him for so many years, I know he does have a natural level of fitness that a lot of other guys don't have. He will certainly be fit enough and well able to do it. He is still one of Dublin's best link players."

l Barry Cahill will play for a Rest of Ireland select v Ulster in the 'Irish GAA Open' charity football match in Newcastle on May 25 as part of the Irish Open festivities. Proceeds of the game go to the Rory McIlroy-backed Daisy Lodge Foundation.

Irish Independent

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