Cooper 'amazed' if Brogan played any part
Colm Cooper has said he would be "amazed" if Bernard Brogan sees any game time with Dublin this year and feels injuries to key players have presented "a chink of light" to the rest.
Speaking at the launch of RTE's 2018 Championship coverage Cooper, who himself took more than a year to play a competitive match with Kerry after rupturing his own cruciate ligament, feels the champions have shipped quite a few blows since last year.
"Vulnerable is a word I probably couldn't throw at Dublin. They are the standout team, rightly favourites and I'd say very short favourites with the bookies," he said.
"But if you were to look at anything that might give a chink of light for everybody else, it might be injuries, there's talk Jack McCaffrey will make it back but I'd be amazed if Bernard Brogan saw any time this summer, even though there is still talk that later on he might get there."
Cooper said that, on top of Diarmuid Connolly's continued absence, it leaves Dublin a little light on experience.
"He (Connolly) is a big player to lose. My only concern, well it's not a concern because I'm hoping for Kerry's sake that it gives everybody else a chance, but from a Dublin point of view if you keep shipping these blows, I know they have strength and depth in every area - but there is no substitute for experience.
"You look to the experience of Brogan, Connolly, and Jack McCaffrey being without those before the championship even starts, if they were to pick up one or two little niggles it might test them in ways they haven't been tested before."
"But they're in pole position and, looking at the league, no team jumped off the page to say they can topple Dublin."
Meanwhile former Mayo footballer John Casey, also speaking the launch of RTE Radio's coverage, has stressed the importance of winning the Connacht Championship to avoid the probability of being in a 'Super 8' group with Dublin and Tyrone.
That, on top of avoiding a qualifier route that will encompass four games if the losers of Sunday's Connacht quarter-final in Castlebar, makes it the most interesting battle in the west for many years.
"It is hugely important. The Connacht champions this time avoid going into a 'Super 8' group with Dublin and potentially Tyrone.," said Casey.
"I just want Mayo to go through the front door. It's a while since Mayo gave Galway a hiding in Salthill and Galway have improved dramatically since. Kevin Walsh has got them going in the right direction and that's why it's a massive game."