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Why Dessie Farrell's future looks brighter than some people think

Dublin's pool of Gaelic Football talent is drying up, but Conor McKeon told OTB Sports that shoul...

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

19:40 17 Aug 2021



Why Dessie Farrell's future lo...
Football

Why Dessie Farrell's future looks brighter than some people think

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

19:40 17 Aug 2021

Dublin's pool of Gaelic Football talent is drying up, but Conor McKeon told OTB Sports that shouldn't stop them being All-Ireland contenders in the coming years.

The Irish Independent GAA writer, and his fellow gaelic games journalist Declan Bogue joined Joe Molloy on this evening's Off The Ball to discuss whether or not this is the end of the Dublin dynasty.

The six-in-a-row All-Ireland champions looked a shadow of their former selves in 2021, surrendering their title on Saturday in their semi-final defeat to Mayo.

With a number of players departing the panel and retiring in recent seasons, as well as manager Jim Gavin stepping aside following their five-in-a-row victory in 2019, former minor and u21 manager Dessie Farrell stepped up to the senior role, winning another All-Ireland in 2020.

However, Saturday's defeat has sparked further questions about the depth of talent available to Farrell, as he looks to restore Dublin to the winners enclosure in 2022.

Irish Independent gaelic games writer Conor McKeon says it's undeniable there is a lack of individual talent stepping into the panel, but says Farrell's past experiences with Dublin's underage sides would suggest it shouldn't be cause for major concern in the capital.

"On top of that there is no doubt that the flow of talent coming from the underage ranks in Dublin is not quite as talented as it was before. The individuals are not quite as good.

"They don't have the same pedigree," he said.

"When he (Dessie Farrell) was in the underage ranks, he was actually far more successful with the teams that had less talent in them. I think he was able to mold them a little bit better than the teams where he had outstanding players, where he had to play through them the whole time.

"That's why I think Dessie is in a better position than an awful lot of people wound expect now because he has a very strong idea about how he wants the game to be played, and how Dublin want to represent the team.

"If Dublin do come back in the short term and are successful in the next two of three years, it won't be because three or four really outstanding young players have just sprouted onto the scene and regenerated the team," he added.

McKeon also pointed out the challenges faced by Farrell in his opening two campaigns; how he has had to avoid the temptation of sweeping changes to an established setup, and also how Covid-19 has caused a number of stutters in his first two seasons in charge.

"Like all the other managers who took over in 2019 and 2020, their preparation time has been effected. I think Dessie at this stage would like to have moved his team on a small bit.

"A couple of things went against him, thee first of which is that you have to ride the wave of what you have. He inherited a team that had just won five All Irelands in a row, so you weren't going to go around killing golden calves. These were proven winners, and whatever way Dessie wanted the team to play, to me, was slightly limited in that.

"The other thing he had were two fractured league campaigns, with lockdown breaks between them. In terms of cultivating new options, he didn't really get that chance," he added.

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