Brian Barry has provided the public with Hurling Power Rankings for the last few weeks. Now Sean Cremin is taking over with the football side of things. Since there are so many more counties playing football in the one championship, we are going to keep it to the top 10 every week.
, So here it goes;
Top of the class and the undisputed number one at the moment is Dublin. Nobody can question so – they have won nine of the last ten titles available to them under Jim Gavin’s leadership. The question now is whether they can win successive titles and cement a long legacy.
Despite not playing in the 2016 championship yet, Kerry still have to be seen as the second best team in Ireland on most recent history. Kerry have been the team that has lost to Dublin in the last two National finals. It may be concerning that they haven’t beaten Dublin in championship since 2009, but they will still be seen as one the Dubs biggest threats.
On reflection they were probably the team that looked most likely to beat Dublin in last years championship. They competed with them for large periods of the All-Ireland semi-final before falling short. Like Kerry, they are yet to get their real 2016 championship underway, but they will be seen as a realistic threat to Dublin.
Tyrone are a side progressing well and could be dark horses for the All-Ireland. They secured the Division 2 league title in the Spring and began their Ulster championship season well. The back-door has been good to Tyrone in recent times, but now an Ulster title would be a big coup for Mickey Harte’s men.
The Farney men made an impressive start to their Ulster campaign against Down. The best thing for them was that they put up a big score without having to rely on Conor McManus. The two Hughes’s brothers were immense. But Monaghan want more than an Ulster title, they will be judged on how they perform in Croke Park, that is if they get there.
They are still competitive despite the fact that they seem to be slipping. After 2014, Donegal will always be taken seriously. Their league form was up and down, and it is hard to know if the front door or the back door is the best route for this side who have been on the road for a while now.
They may be high up on this list for some people’s liking, and they have a good bit to prove in the championship stakes, but they look well positioned for a decent assault on this year’s championship. They have had their fright already in New York and rebounded with a massive win over Leitrim. Sligo are up next where they will be expected to get to a Connacht final and look to build on their successful league.
Cavan are another side that are tipping away nicely this year. They are finally building on their progress from 2013 and their under-21 teams that secured many Ulster titles. They were very impressive against Armagh and now have their talisman, Seanie Johnston, back in the fold who looks to be having a major impact.
They may be another surprise inclusion but Galway have been a quarter-final team for the last few years. There is a gulf between from the big 4 down, but Galway have been close to Mayo in recent times in Connacht, and have had some steady back-door wins.
Another Ulster team finishes off the current top 10. Their game with Donegal will be a better barometer of where they are at, but as of now they were in the top 8 in Ireland last year, had a steady league campaign in Division 2 and look to be a team on an upward curve who are really enjoying their football.
So there is our first top 10. Some teams are yet to get their 2016 championship seasons underway so expect plenty of movement over the next few weeks. The real line is that Dublin are number one by a distance, and is there any team capable of catching them.