Former Galway footballer and current Corofin star Kieran Fitzgerald feels that the defensive style of football is not the way to beat reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin.
Fitzgerald was a part of Galway’s infamous All-Ireland winning side in 2001, capturing an All-Star in what was an immensely impressive season for the Corofin man.
Despite still playing for his club at 38 years of age, Fitzgerald is no longer a part of the inter-county setup and outlined that he feels the current crop of Tribesmen are “incredibly talented” but was keen to outline that they must express themselves more in an attacking sense.
“You have periods of time when counties aren’t as successful but now there’s a real group of players there that are really talented,” said Fitzgerald.
“They have beaten Mayo the last three times, won the Connacht title last year and got to the All Ireland semi-final for the first time in 18 years.
“I think they’ll probably have to change tactics a bit going forward in relation to how they express themselves, not be as defensively minded.
But it is great to have Galway back in Division 1 and competing in the latter stages of those competitions and hopefully it will continue.”
Galway have picked up two wins in the Allianz League but were comfortably defeated by reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin in Croke Park two weeks ago.
The Tribesmen opted for the defence approach but they still managed to concede 1-15 to Jim Gavin’s side, losing in the end by 11 points.
Fitzgerald feels that although that once worked for the likes of Donegal, the solely defensive mindset is not the way to go about beating Dublin,
“I don’t see any team beating Dublin with that solely defensive mindset.
“I think in the last few years the team that has pushed Dublin hardest has been Mayo and they have really gone for it and matched them with high-octane football as well.
“While, obviously, they do have a plus one at the back at times, they do go forward as well and kick the ball into their full-forward line a lot and I think that’s the only way you will really compete with them and Mayo have been successful at that in the last few years, brought them to a replay and got beat by a point another year.
“You’ve seen the defensive teams trying that recently and they just pick you off. Tyrone in the All Ireland final, Galway last weekend, they’re still conceding big scores while trying to play a defensive game and I don’t think it’s going to work for any team.”
The 38-year old will be hoping that his club side can fair better than his county when Corofin face Gaoth Dobhair in the All-Ireland club semi-finals on Saturday.
Although Corofin will go into the game as favourites and reigning champions, Fitzgerald is wary of the threat that the Donegal club possesses.
“They’ve some very skilful players. Odhran MacNiallais is one of the classiest footballers in Ireland. They really go for it and that’s what we’re expecting next Saturday evening.
“They counter-attack really quickly and they’re not afraid to attack. I expect a good game and both teams to go at it. Some classy footballers on both teams and it will be nice to be talking about the good game of football at the end of it.”