After last week’s assessment of Cork GAA and their chances of doing the double, we now take a look at how Dublin can fare.
In many people’s eyes, it is Dublin who are the one team that can claim All-Ireland honours in both codes come September. As things stand, they are in a very healthy position to do so.
Last weekend, saw Ger Cunningham’s refreshed and rejuvenated hurling side, brush aside the challenge of Tipperary at Parnell Park in impressive fashion.
With the likes of Cian O’Callagahan and Eamon Dillon to the fore, the future augurs well for hurling in the capital city.
The Dubs looked composed and comfortable with their style of play. Cunningham’s game plan was varied and well executed.
The long ball to Liam Rushe was used frequently, resulting in two green flags being raised for the boys in blue. However, a short passing game was used very effectively too, epitomized by Danny Sutcliffe’s point in the first half.
Their first touch and work-rate was excellent for this time of year. It was a stark contrast to the Dublin side we saw last year, who looked jaded and short on ideas.
Cunningham has brought a fresh set of ideas to the table and with a clean slate to work off, the Dubs are looking like real contenders to wrestle Liam McCarthy back from Kilkenny to the banks of the Liffey.
Turning our attention to the big ball, we all know what this generation of Dublin footballers can do. Having tasted a sour defeat at the hands of Donegal at the penultimate stage last year, they will be gunning for revenge this year.
The boys in blue possess a vast array of talent, particularly in the attacking sector. With half forwards of the highest caliber in Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Flynn, Dublin are rated 6/5 favourites by the bookies, to reclaim ‘Sam’.
Added to that, they boast the best tactical kicking goalkeeper in the game. Stephen Cluxton and his kickouts are just another component in Dublin’s rich armory.
With Dublin’s strength and depth growing by the year, aided by the steady flow of progressing underage talent, a period of domination is looming for the capital city’s footballers.
With Ger Cunningham’s refreshed hurlers lurking and Jim Gavin’s footballers determined to exact revenge, this summer could be one to remember for the Hill 16 faithful.