Dublin get their National League campaign underway against Roscommon.
Diarmuid Connolly has revealed who he thinks should be Brian Fenton’s Dublin midfield partner for the upcoming 2021 inter-county GAA season.
Connolly was speaking ahead of the Allianz National Leagues starting this weekend with a full set of hurling fixtures, followed by Gaelic football getting underway a week later.
Connolly on Fenton’s midfield partner.
Dublin are going for an incredible seven All-Ireland titles in succession and the former marquee forward believes one player could be crucial in partnering up with Fenton in midfield.
“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,” Connolly told Boylesports.
“He is a huge player for Dublin. 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 is up and down, kicking points, scoring goals and winning high balls in the middle of the field. He is just everywhere so I would love to see that partnership blossom this year.”
Dublin’s production line.
Ciaran Whelan made headlines recently in an interview when he said that Dublin didn’t have the same standard of players coming through at an underage level.
However, Connolly believes that Dublin’s strength in depth is one of their strong points and thinks a couple of players will burst onto the scene once again in 2021.
“The Dublin squad is so strong, but you’re going to get something from left field,” Connolly added.
“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.
“You just don’t know what is going to happen and that’s why we all love sport so much.
“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.”