Friday 23 February 2018

Dublin depth to sign them into prestigious treble club - Micko


Mick O'Dwyer. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE
Mick O'Dwyer. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Kerry's hold on being the last team to win the All-Ireland football three-in-a-row will end on Sunday, according to the man who presided over the last two trebles.

Mick O'Dwyer, who led the Kingdom to treble successes in 1978-'79-'80 (followed by a four-timer in 1981) and again in 1984-'85-'86, expects Dublin to end the 31-year gap without a three-in-a-row but believes it will be much more difficult for them than the odds suggest.

"Mayo have improved an awful lot as the year went on and if they play as well as they did against Kerry the last day, they'll test Dublin. They did it last year and they can do it again but they mightn't have quite enough to win.

"Dublin have great depth in their squad, which is always important. They could field two very good teams. Having said that, they can only have 15 on the field at any one time. They know exactly how hard it can be to beat Mayo," said O'Dwyer. He does not believe that the growing pressure on Dublin to deliver the county's first All-Ireland treble since the 1920s will have a negative impact.

"Not at all. Players look at every game as a one-off. What has happened before counts for nothing. Dublin lads won't be thinking, 'We're going for the three-in-a-row,' no more than the Mayo players will be thinking, 'We're trying to win the All-Ireland for the first time since 1951'.

"Having said that, All-Ireland finals are different. They can sometimes take on a life of their own. You think you have every angle covered and then something else comes up," said O'Dwyer. He doesn't believe that Mayo's long campaign - this is their tenth championship game - will catch up with them.

"They looked fresh enough to me against Kerry. Anyway, how could a player feel tired going into an All-Ireland final?

"This is what they aim for all year long. It would be great for Mayo and for the game if they won but I think Dublin will have that little too much for them," he said.


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Irish Independent

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