Tuesday 21 January 2020

'Super 8s' format will throw up some surprises - Micko ​

Gaelic games

O'Dwyer: "There are very good teams in both groups and Dublin and Kerry have to get through those first before they’re even in the semi-finals." Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Mick O'Dwyer is urging caution among all those who regard a Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland football final as a near-certainty.

And O'Dwyer, who expects to see surprises in the new format, also wants Kerry supporters to be patient as Eamonn Fitzmaurice builds a new squad after coming up short against Mayo and Dublin in recent seasons.

There appears to be a widespread view that Kerry are the only team in the 'Super 8s' capable of stopping Dublin's four-in-a-row march. Indeed, many are confidently predicting an All-Ireland final clash between the pair on September 2.

"I don't know how anyone can be so sure of these things. There are very good teams in both groups and Dublin and Kerry have to get through those first before they're even in the semi-finals. Neither of them can take anything for granted," said O'Dwyer (right).

Kerry supporters are hoping that a young squad will launch a bright new era, similar to 1975 when O'Dwyer's ambitious crew stunned Dublin in the All-Ireland final.

It was the start of a new phase in the famous rivalry, with Kerry coming out on top in the county's best-ever run, which yielded a further seven All-Ireland titles by 1986.

"The likes of 1975 doesn't happen very often. There's no doubt that we have some great young footballers in Kerry at the moment, but they might need a bit more time to develop fully," O'Dwyer added.

"People have to be patient. You can't rush things. It's not just a question of putting out a young team of good players and they win an All-Ireland. There's a lot more to it than that."

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O’Dwyer fears that amid all the talk in Kerry of an emerging team, perspective may be lost on the difficulties facing them in the ‘Super 8s’ series.

“I have been very impressed with Galway this year. They were good all the way in the League and kept it going in Connacht,” he said.

“Galway always have very natural footballers and this generation is beginning to come good now.

“Kerry have to go up to Monaghan for the next game and then play Kildare, who are a different team over the last few weeks. They’re playing some great football.

“Dublin are the team to beat on the other side, but you just don’t know what the new system will turn up. There’s bound to be some surprises,” he said.

Meanwhile, the GAA have announced details of the second and third rounds in the Super 8s and the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals.

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