Kieran McGeeney played for Na Fianna, one of Dublin’s bigger clubs.
Kieran McGeeney has first-hand experience of Dublin GAA. The Armagh manager represented Na Fianna and won county and provincial championships with the club, with whom he played alongside current Dublin manager Dessie Farrell.
When he was playing Gaelic football in the capital, Dublin were not regular All-Ireland contenders. He is unsurprised though that they have started to dominate football.
“It’s interesting seeing it from the point of view that when I was there, those players were starting to come through and I was in the middle of it – now when everyone’s calling them the greatest team ever and some of the greatest players ever, the same people were calling them useless back then,” McGeeney said.
“I remember people talking about individual players like Paul Flynn – the club he was from and they hadn’t won anything and James McCarthy and what had he done and Jonny Cooper – even though he was my club, whether he had it or not to make it. Now everyone’s saying how brilliant they are.”
— CLG Na Fianna (@clgNaFianna) March 10, 2018
Armagh’s boss is impressed with Dublin’s effort and work rate.
McGeeney feels that the Dublin players put in a serious effort in training in recent seasons and that is why they’ve been so successful. He also praised their humility and manner when he has met some of the players.
“It’s funny when you’re in the media, the way you’re able to change tune and pretend that you’ve known everything from the start. But those guys have put in a hell of a lot of work. Whether it’s Diarmuid Connolly or James McCarthy, you have to admire the work ethic that they’ve had over the last six/seven years,” he said.
“I would be a big admirer of what they do and how they behave. I can still see them around Dublin and there’s not one of them who wouldn’t stop and say hello to you and chat the football with you. They’ve no airs or graces, and just from the hard work and their dedication, they’ve been a credit to their counties, their clubs, and to themselves.”
McGeeney is one of very few players to win provincial club championships in two different provinces, having won an Ulster title with his native Mullaghbawn in 1995, before winning a Leinster Championship with Na Fianna in 1999.