Dublin defender Philly McMahon has hit back at the suggestion their current dominance of Gaelic football is a “problem for the game”, describing Trevor Giles’ comments as “disappointing”.
The four-in-a-row Allianz League champions are on a 22-game unbeaten run though ex-Meath star Giles said while “it’s great for Dublin it’s probably a bit of a problem for the game” overall. Giles asked: “How are you going to make it exciting or interesting?”
Giles fears neutrals will opt to skip Dublin games in future because they feel “it’s not going to be a contest”. But McMahon, a current All Star and nominee for Player of the Year in 2015, revealed his frustration with the comments which he claimed were trying to put a ‘shadow’ over Dublin’s achievements.
“It’s disappointing to hear these things because it’s the players at the end of the day that bring the success,” said McMahon. “Yes, there has been structures put in. You look at the development and stuff like what the GPOs (Games Promotion Officers) have given to clubs in Dublin but at the end of the day, there’s a squad picked, 15 players go out on the pitch and six subs come on. We’re the ones that are on the pitch that have to win that game.
“You can talk about the county board and Dublin and stuff like that, the GAA, whatever it is but the facts are the players picked to go out on the pitch, they’re the ones that have to bring the attitude on the day and the performance and that’s all it comes down to.
“It kind of disappointments me to hear things like that (Giles’ comments) because it kind of puts a shadow over what you’ve done. As a footballer, you’ve worked your whole life to get to where you are in your career, you train, you prepare every year to go out and compete and to perform and to go out and wear that jersey and then you have people coming out with things for that.
“You just have to get on with it and I think it’s just about the players that go out on the pitch. We’re going out there to perform and to represent Dublin.”
McMahon pointed out between 1995 and 2011, Dublin didn’t win a national senior football title of note and are currently enjoying a golden period with three All-Ireland wins in five seasons aside from their league successes.
McMahon went head to head with Colm Cooper last weekend in Dublin’s 11-point league final win. He also came up against Kieran Donaghy and conceded a free for a foul on the Kerry talisman though Eamonn Fitzmaurice claimed afterwards Donaghy didn’t given enough protection from referee Eddie Kinsella generally.
“I only got one chance to tackle Kieran, in the first-half when the ball came in and he got a free,” said McMahon. “Apart from that, I don’t know. I can’t remember off the top of my head the challenges (Fitzmaurice was referring to). I might have been off the pitch at that stage. This is a physical sport. You can’t expect not to be challenged. And if he felt that was what was going on, well, that’s his opinion.”
McMahon revealed he was suffering from ‘flu and didn’t celebrate the four-in-a-row win on Sunday evening. “I didn’t do much because I was a bit fluey and went straight home to bed but it’s something the lads should have celebrated because it was a momentous occasion with the day that was in it and beating Kerry as well.”
* Philly McMahon was speaking at the announcement fish suppliers John West will sponsor the Féile na nGael and Féile Péile na nÓg festivals.
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