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Brady insists Dubs must prove mettle in championship


Tomas Brady Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Tomas Brady Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Tomas Brady Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Dublin full-back Tomas Brady has warned that his side have yet to prove themselves in championship hurling after failing to reach their own standards in the last two years.

The Na Fianna man, who will miss the Dubs' championship opener against Offaly after damaging medial knee ligaments in club training last weekend, insists they can make further strides this summer.

"I'm sure the management will have a word when we meet again," Brady said at the official launch of the 2011 hurling championship in Dunloy GAA's state-of-the-art facility in Antrim.

"We know it was a historic victory but we have to understand it was the league, and hurling is all about the championship. I think we are old enough not to get carried away. We have yet to make a mark as a team on the championship, bar 2009 (when they reached the Leinster final)."

Dublin never recovered from that provincial final defeat and bowed out to Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-final, and last year they were caught by Antrim in Croke Park when the game seemed wrapped up.

"In the Leinster semi-final in 2009, it was a morale victory more than anything else. We were happy with what we achieved that year. Anything after that was a bonus and the Limerick game was devastating. But that's well behind us at this stage I feel.

"In previous years we were going out wondering if we'll perform, but now we know we'll perform. We might lose or draw but we know we'll perform as a team and that is different from other years when we didn't know if we would perform and we were hoping we would. We were found out."

Brady has targeted the Leinster semi-final on June 18 as the date for his return should Dublin progress past Offaly at the end of the month in a match that would most likely pit them against Galway.

"That'd be my target. The next game would be three weeks after and that would bring it up to six weeks. All going well, I'll be back for whatever game comes after the Offaly match," he said.

"It's frustrating. You have to accept that these things happen."

Irish Independent