THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
DUBLIN V MEATH – it’s where you want to be as a Dublin footballer.
Thinking back to all those great games in the 90s, it is always a special day and the thing is that no matter what the form is leading up to a Dublin-Meath clash, it always takes on a life of its own on the day.
Back in 2010 we took our eye off the ball and Meath hammered five goals past us. We didn’t give Meath enough respect and we didn’t work hard enough and we paid a high price.
These games tend to be about attitude and work rate and whoever wants it the most and is willing to make that effort gets it.
This is a new look Meath team who are unfamiliar but it’s obvious they are all fine footballers and they have no fear and the way they went after Kildare was hugely impressive.
It should be another epic battle full of hard hits.
As a Dublin footballer, big games with Meath is where you prove yourself and when your career is over you look back on those big days and it is a place where Dublin and Meath players feel they earn their stripes in the Championship.
I was surprised that Meath beat Kildare, because Kildare were hot favourites but maybe they found that tag too hot to handle. Meath’s fresh young legs were ambitious and energetic and they expressed themselves with no pressure.
What I really liked was that when they got in front they pulled away and they didn’t let up. It was a great performance and they will come at Dublin with all guns blazing.
Banty McEnaney has brought new people into his back room and it seems to be working. Trevor Giles is having a big influence and growing up he was a phenomenal player who I greatly admired and learned a lot from. It must be unbelievable for the young Meath players to have this legend coaching them because he was a class act.
I know from my Kerry roots that John Evans is a hugely respected character and a fine coach and has also made a big impact for the Royals.
Meath will be underdogs and they’ll take confidence from that and also confidence from their 2010 win over us.
We’ll just do what we have done and what has worked well for us the last couple of years and shut off the build-up and focus on ourselves and making sure we get our game right on Sunday.
Dublin went seven years without a Leinster title and it is still something that is very special to us. The team of the 90s showed how quickly that dominance can end and we are eager to make the most of our time in a Dublin jersey.
The standard of football in Leinster is definitely on the rise and we saw that with Kildare, Longford and Wicklow all winning their leagues. Ulster is the most competitive province to win but after that it is definitely Leinster and it’s getting tougher every year.
In previous years Dublin were not tested in Leinster and it worked against us later on. But so far this summer we have had to dig deep and we know Meath will come and ask more serious questions this Sunday.
Whoever wins this will have learned a lot about themselves.
We know we were far from perfect against a well organised Wexford and we have had a lot to work on and improve since then.
We need to show a serious appetite for work if we are to hang onto the Delaney Cup.
THE VODAFONE DUB HUB JOURNALIST
Vodafone, together with award winning GAA journalist Cian Murphy, is delighted to bring you the Vodafone Dub Hub - The Dublin GAA blog. Cian will keep you up to date with the latest news, interviews, analysis and insights on Dublin GAA. We will also be running regular give-aways so keep an eye out for competitions. Cian has been covering Gaelic games since 1992 and is a GAA Writer with the Irish Sun.
The passionate views and comments you read here belong to Cian Murphy and not Vodafone Ireland.