GILROY CHASES PERFECTION
THE result was in the bag after just 15 minutes last weekend, but Pat Gilroy insists there was still a lot for the Dubs to watch and learn as they cruised to victory over Armagh.
With the two points secure long before the final whistle there may have been a temptation for the Dubs to switch off, conserve energy and empty the bench for the sake of it.
But Gilroy has revealed that maximising game time is too important for the Dubs to waste any opportunity. Landslide victory or not, he wants his players to see every second on the pitch as being precious.
“I think it’s important. You only get so many league games anyway. If you waste a half, it’s a waste of good practice for the summer," he insists.
"There are a lot of guys there that are getting chances while others are coming back from injury. I would have been very disappointed if we did take the foot off the pedal especially when you are bringing in fresh guys for the second half to do their bit.
"I thought they all made a bit of a difference when they came on. I think it’s important that you do that in league games.
"It’s more than about winning. It’s about testing out different ways of playing. That's what we are trying to do," he explained.
One man who took his chance to shine was Na Fianna starlet Johnny Cooper. It's hard to believe that when the Dubs won Sam last September there was no one from Mobhi Road on the team.
Such has been the explosion of underage talent in Na Fianna in football and hurling, it's a safe bet that they will leave their mark again very soon.
Leading that charge is the versatile Cooper, captain of the u21 All-Ireland winning team of 2010 who grabbed two points in his cameo last week and he left a mark on Gilroy.
"Johnny has been impressive since he came into us. He’s full of running,
he’s a guy that certainly has a
big future ahead of him. It’s nice to get two points in your first senior game in Croke Park," praised Gilroy.
The big football news this week is that long term injury victim Paul Griffin and shorter term absentee Cian O'Sullivan are due to make a full return very shortly. So too All-Ireland winning midfielder Denis Bastick. Bernard Brogan is expected to be able to play this weekend after his shoulder injury and all this just underlines the phenomenal strength in depth in Dublin football right now.
Down made a sluggish start to 2012 but have shown signs of improvment. The loss of playmaker Martin Clarke has not been easy on them, but the form of Dan Gordon at midfield has been a boost and they have quality footballers like Danny Hughes to cause trouble.
Last year it took an injury time goal from Alan Brogan to win at Croke Park, but the Dubs have the firepower to make sure it is not so close this time.
FOGRA: Dublin GAA lost one of its great father-figures in Des Skehan this week. The co-founder of Synge Street Past Pupils GFC in 1946 at the age of just 17, 'Skehaner' devoted himself to the club and to Dublin GAA where he was a colossus at county board level. He gave tirelessly of himself to developments on the minor board and to juvenile football on the south-side and was a selector on All-Ireland winning Dublin minor teams in 1982 and 1984. Fiercely proud of his 'Synger' heritage and its motto 'Viriliter Age' (Act Manfully), his contribution to Dublin GAA and to Gaelic football in Dolphin Park was immense and will never be forgotten. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dhilis.
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