GAA Football

Diarmuid Connolly: Dublin looking good to land magnificent seven

Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly in action during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final replay against Kerry at Croke Park, Dublin on Saturday September 14 2019. Picture by Philip Walsh.
The Irish News

Six-time All-Ireland winner Diarmuid Connolly believes Dublin are in a strong position going into their campaign for a seventh consecutive All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Connolly believes that a blossoming partnership in midfield this season will help provide a strong basis for their Sam Maguire bid.

“Dublin were missing a lot of guys last year, the likes of Brian Howard who was out for nearly the whole season with an injury and only came back for the All-Ireland final. He is a huge player for Dublin,'' Connolly told Leon Blanche as GAA Ambassador for BoyleSports.

''I like James McCarthy at wing back, he is so strong there, but I'd love for the two Raheny club-men to nail down a partnership in the middle of the field.

''Brian Howard sitting a little deeper and playing more of a defensive sweeper role. He has such a good foot pass and his tackling is ferocious.

“Then you have Brian Fenton. What can't you say about the man?

''He's up and down, kicking points, scoring goals and winning high balls in the middle of the field. He's just everywhere so I would love to see that partnership blossom this year.”

Connolly also praised the club scene in the county and tipped some new faces to make an impact this season.

“The Dublin squad is so strong, but you're going to get something from left field,'' he said.

''Club football here at the moment is very strong. Ballymun were so strong last year so I'd imagine a couple of those guys are going to come into the squad.

''We saw Robbie McDaid last year, when he got his chance you saw what happened.

''He was man of the match in an All-Ireland semi-final and got an All-Star nomination in his first season playing with the Dubs.”

''I'm really looking forward to seeing a few of these guys, the likes of Sean Bugler, develop. He had a bit of a stop-start season. Paddy Small was the same.

''But the likes of John Small, first All-Star this year, has never lost a game with Dublin, the same with Brian Fenton, so I'm looking forward to seeing these guys develop and get stronger.”

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