Home GAA Dublin Best XV Of Their Winning Four-In-A-Row Teams

Dublin Best XV Of Their Winning Four-In-A-Row Teams

Dublin claimed yet another All Ireland title yesterday, sweeping past Tyrone by a margin of six points. With such a wealth of talent in the county, it is unsurprising that this was their fourth All Ireland title in-a-row. With that in mind, we have chosen what we believe to be their strongest XV from their four winning teams. 

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1. Stephen Cluxton

Dublin’s net-minder, captain and leader. His kick-outs are a key strategy to their play as displayed yesterday. When he sent a few wayward efforts, Tyrone dominated the game but he showed great mental strength to recover. The first name on any teamsheet for Dublin.

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2. Philly McMahon

Philly McMahon is a very physically imposing character with a very clever and intuitive footballing brain as he proved in yesterday’s finalThe two-time All-Star winner received his sixth All Ireland medal this year, and at 30 years of age, he shows no sign of slowing down.

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3.  Cian O’Sullivan

It was disappointing to see Cian O’Sullivan having to be removed from the pitch after less than 30 minutes with a hamstring injury sustained in the semi-final win over Galway. Such is his importance to Dublin that it was worth the risk of starting him, even when not fully fit.

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4. Michael Fitzsimons

O’Sullivan’s replacement did a fantastic job rendering the Tyrone full-forward line virtually ineffective as he has done all year. The Cuala man is a wonderful man-marker with great aerial ability and an unrivalled work rate. He was very unfortunate to miss out on a starting spot.

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5. John Small

Although some of his play is often borderline, John Small is such an effective player for Dublin. He is pacey, physical and ruthless in the manner in which he defends. The Ballymun Kickhams man often wanders up the field to connect with his forwards, showing great intellect on the ball.

GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 27/8/2017 Dublin vs Tyrone Dublin's goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton gives instructions to John Small Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

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6. Jonny Cooper

Jonny Cooper is Mr Reliable among the Dublin defence and is so versatile with the positions in which he can play. He uses his height to great advantage under the high ball and has a great ability to frustrate his opponent and draw frees. He is an important leader for the Dubs.

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7. Jack McCaffrey

What more can be said about yesterday’s man-of-the-match? His blistering pace is one of his strongest assets and one which Tyrone were not equipped to deal with. The Clontarf man is ever-consistent, even maintaining his standard after returning from a summer in the U.S.

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8. Brian Fenton

As incredible as it sounds, Brian Fenton is yet to lose a championship match with Dublin. At 25 years of age, he now has four All Ireland titles to his name. The Raheny man was unlucky to lose out the Player of the Year award to Lee Keegan in 2017 and will be a nominee again this year.

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9. James McCarthy

James McCarthy often does not get the level of praise he deserves, such is the standard we expect from him at this stage. The 28-year-old dominants every midfield he is part of and has gelled into a lethal force alongside Fenton. Had a fantastic game in the final last year.

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10. Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn is one of the few people to receive four All-Star awards in a row and it proves how vital a player he was to Dublin. The Fingallians man was the captain in 2011 when this journey started and has been the ultimate team player since. He is a wealth of experience and talent.

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11. Diarmuid Connolly

One of the biggest names in the GAA world with unquestionable talent. He spent the summer with Donegal Boston, lighting up the championship and scoring 0-12 in the final. Although he wasn’t required for Dublin to win the All Ireland, their fans will be counting down the days till his return.

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12. Ciarán Kilkenny 

Kilkenny is the favourite for the Player of the Year and with good reason. The 25-year-old has always been a key playmaker for the Dubs but this year he has added a scoring element to his game that has made him the finished product. The Castleknock man has 2-24 to his name at the end of the season.

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13. Paul Mannion

Paul Mannion has been such an impressive player for Dublin this year, culminating in him winning his fourth All Ireland medal. He is clever on the ball, unselfish and wonderfully clinical in his finishing. At only 25, there is plenty more to come from the Kilmacud Croke’s man.

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14. Bernard Brogan

Brogan has been part of the Dublin panel for 11 years winning six All Ireland titles and four All Star’s during that period. His scoring exploits are well documented but his team spirit and character were epitomised this summer when he returned from a cruciate injury after just six months.

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15. Dean Rock 

Dean Rock comes from a prestigious Dublin footballing family and he is carrying on the name with distinction. Yes, he is their ever-reliable free-taker but he has far more components to his game and is such a potent threat from open play. His calm and coolness is an example to the younger players.

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About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter