Dublin legend, Kieran Duff, believes that outside factors could hinder his county from achieving the elusive five All Ireland titles in a row.
As soon as the final whistle blew in last year’s All Ireland final, thoughts turned to the ‘Drive for Five’ that no one has achieved at senior inter-county level in either hurling or Gaelic Football.
Duff was speaking at the launch of TG4’s Laochra Gael and also in attendance was Seamus Darby, the Offaly man who left Kerry’s dream of five-in-a-row in tatters in 1982 and his presence sparked a cautious tone from Duff who knows that much can change between February and the business end of the championship.
“If you asked me to put money on it now, I wouldn’t”, Duff warned.
“So many things can happen between now and then. There’s going to be loads of pressure thrown at them. They’re good enough to win it but there’s so many things that can happen, guys can lose form, referees decisions, look what happened when Offaly beat Kerry in ‘82.”
The All Ireland champions have had an unusually slow start to their Allianz League campaign, losing two games to Monaghan and Kerry.
While the losses are not a cause for concern for Duff, he hopes that it might help Dublin fans realise that all may not go their way this summer.
“They’ve already gone through two League games that they’ve lost, it’s unlike them but people have to realise that they’re human as well.
“Dublin could lose players, we’ve been lucky over the years that we haven’t lost too many players, one player maybe per year. Jack McCaffrey did his cruciate, was missing for a year, but we didn’t lose anyone else.
“Put all that into perspective later on, all the pressure that’s going to be heaped in Dublin now.”
Donegal have put forward a motion that will be discussed at the annual GAA Congress in Wexford, that seeks to prevent any county from playing two games at Croke Park during the Super 8s. If the motion is passed, it will prevent any county from designating Croke Park as a ‘home’ venue, meaning Dublin would not play two games at GAA headquarters.
Duff is in favour of the motion as he believes his county has an unfair advantage in the Jones Road venue.
“I’ve no doubt it will be passed. They’re dead right to do it, it is an unfair advantage. If you have to play your one neutral Super 8s game, that’s fine, play that but playing the home game is probably a bit much for counties to take on board because they have to travel twice. Dublin have no problem playing anywhere else in Ireland.
“Leinster Council won’t take Dublin out of Leinster because of gate receipts. Dublin, playing whoever in the Leinster semi-final, they’ll take the first match out of Croker, semi-final will be a double-header in Croker, Leinster final. Dublin might play the Leinster final in Portlaoise, but to me, teams are getting the experience of playing in Croker then.
“It’s going to happen, move onto the Super 8s in July, imagine Dublin vs Kerry in Killarney again. Or Dublin vs Donegal or Galway in a country venue, it could be a different ball game. They have their case.”