‘I remember the team in the noughties used to go down and applaud the Hill’ – Dublin’s changed approach

FORMER TYRONE PLAYER Enda McGinley says the current Dublin team are unlikely to be affected by complacency compared with previous Dublin sides he encountered during his playing days.

Jim Gavin’s charges are aiming to win the Sam Maguire for a fourth successive time this weekend against Tyrone, which would leave them one title short of the unprecedented five-in-a-row.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

But the three-time All-Ireland winner believes that Dublin will not be distracted by any mention of those prospective achievements when they take to the field in Croke Park.

“I think Dublin teams in the past, they wouldn’t have got to four-in-a-row… so the only reason that’s even a possibility is because unflappable this current Dublin team is,” he said.

“Being in the capital with all the attention that that brings, it was always their Achilles heel.”

Dublin’s unbeaten run in the championship stretches back to 2014, when they were beaten by Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Tyrone came agonisngly close to getting a result against the men from the capital during the inaugural Super 8s competition earlier this summer, but Dublin survived the stern test in Omagh.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

McGinley credits former Dublin manager Pat Gilroy for introducing this new mindset which helped produce such a formidable outfit, but he recalls playing against a different Dublin team during his inter-county career.

I remember the team in the noughties used to go down and applaud the Hill and there was always this great show about Dublin, and we were rubbing our hands at that.

“That has all stopped. These boys are ruthless winners.

“You see it in the National League games where they shouldn’t have any desire to win it and yet they’ll come from three or four points down and absolute die on the pitch for random National League points when they’re sitting with three or four All-Ireland medals in their pockets.

[For] ordinary teams, complacency is a big thing but the way Jim Gavin has this team structured, even how he has them playing, they are so disciplined, they are so well drilled. I don’t think complacency is going to be an issue with Dublin.

Dublin are naturally considered to be overwhelming favourites going into this decider, but McGinley reports that there is a ‘remarkably confident’ atmosphere among Tyrone fans.

And having played under Mickey Harte, McGinley knows that the Tyrone manager shares their belief despite the heavy defeat they shipped against Dublin in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Enda McGinley in action against Dublin in the 2008 All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“From the moment they got hammered in last year’s semi-final, he would have been believing they could win this year’s All-Ireland, and that is with complete belief. And he’ll be talking like that to the team from day one this year.

“And you don’t really believe it, you’re still a sensible player. You’ve just had that hammering and you don’t really buy in. But as the season goes on you just believe more and more and more. And by this stage of the season you just believe fully.

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The much-anticipated documentary ‘Tír Eoghain: The Unbreakable Bond’ was aired on TG4 on Sunday night, and the programme was well received by GAA viewers.

Ná caill amach! @TG4TV @UlsterGAA @TyroneGAALive pic.twitter.com/LsQ1i6nuMy

— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) August 26, 2018

McGinley, who featured in the documentary, was unable to catch the broadcast but has recorded it at home.

He has received plenty of messages since it hit the screens and he was honoured to be part of the project.

“To be reminded of that story, you were there yourself but at 17/18, how much are you really taking in? Yes, you knew how it progressed over the years.

“But to see it put together in a programme like that, and I thought it was done really, really well, it’s brilliant to have it captured because Tyrone gets plenty of negative press and having been there through that journey I think what we were lucky enough to be part of as a team and as a group and what happened in the county is an amazing story.

“It’s just phenomenal and it makes you very proud of that group and something always to be.”

Enda McGinley was speaking at a media day ahead of this weekend’s GAA Football All-Ireland Final.

The former inter-county footballer has teamed up with Guinness as part of their GAA campaign ‘Bound Together’ which celebrates the power of the GAA to unite, and heroes the fans and their passionate commitment and connection to their local communities.

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