Thursday 27 June 2019

'The forward line is set in stone' - Is there any room in the starting team for Dublin's in-form sharpshooter?

Cormac Costello kicked 0-6 for Dublin against Galway last weekend. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cormac Costello kicked 0-6 for Dublin against Galway last weekend. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Not for the first time, Cormac Costello was lethal in front of goal for Dublin last weekend.

The 24-year-old kicked 0-6 - 0-5 from play - in the comfortable win over Galway in the National League at Croke Park, again raising the question of whether Costello can force his way into Jim Gavin's starting team on a permanent basis.

The Whitehall Colmcille forward has been plagued by injuries during his career, with the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final against Donegal - Dublin's last championship defeat - one of the few occasions that Costello has started a game during the summer.

However, he has regularly shown his potential in effective cameos off the bench, including when he kicked a pivotal 0-3 haul in the All-Ireland final replay against Mayo in 2016.

The issue for Costello this season is whether he can displace any of Dublin's regular starting forwards, five of whom are All Stars.

Speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast in association with Allianz, Irish Independent GAA correspondent Colm Keys praised Costello's performance against the Tribesmen but added that he can't see him getting a starting place as Dublin target the five in-a-row.

"You'd ask, where would he break in?," Keys said.

"To me, the Dublin forward line is set in stone if everyone is fit and well. I can't see Cormac Costello breaking into that team just yet. It would take a dip in form. Who would he replace? Niall Scully has become really pivotal to them. His play-making and passing is superb. Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Howard had such a good season and does such great work around midfield. And then inside you have Dean Rock, Paul Mannion and Con O'Callaghan. At their best, who loses out?

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"Cormac Costello is a really brilliant footballer too but who would he replace? That is the joy for Dublin. At their best, I can't see him getting in."

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