Still a bit more bite in the auld dog, says Michael Darragh Macauley

Michael Darragh Macauley wasn’t wearing comparisons with the great Dublin teams of the seventies after yesterday’s win over Kerry — ‘we’re nowhere near those boys’ was his take on how the current Dublin team compare with Heffo’s Dubs.

“Look, I think everyone adds this stuff up when you’re finished playing. I’m sure there’ll be a few stats throw out about ourselves and the team from the ‘70s for the next while. But there’s still a long way to go and we’re nowhere near those boys.

“These are the sums that I’ll do when I’m wrapped up on a bar-stool when I’m about 40 and I’m trying to big myself up to some young-one or something!

“Everyone knew coming into this Kerry game that it was going to be huge. The Kerry lads are a serious outfit and have been for the past decade and beyond. We had no doubts about what we were facing today and we managed to come through in the end.”

Macauley praised his teammates’ workrate: “It’s always going to come down to that. We knew ten minutes into this game that it was still going to be in the mixer and of course of it was.

“I think the fitness showed in lads and hopefully our lads really had the hard work done and it paid off.”

Macauley laughed off suggestions Dublin are now set to dominate the next few seasons: “I’m sure they’ll say that, yeah. 14 in a row, they’ll say! No, look, it’s going to be another hard year next year, obviously.

“Hopefully we can come back and grind one now. We’ve seen how tough it is to put them back to back.

“It was my most frustrating year on a Gaelic football pitch, but you have to take the highs with the lows.

“With the injuries I had at the start of the year I seemed to be chasing my tail a bit and I felt I got there towards the end.

“But maybe it was just a little bit too late. I would have liked to have had a bigger part to play but that’s the way it goes.”

The midfielder acknowledged the hurt left by last year’s semi-final loss: “I’ve always said the toughest time to lose is in the semi-final. We really felt that last year. We felt we were primed to win it last year and we were beaten by the better team in Donegal on the day.

“So we just had to be ready for anything this year. We had a few challenges thrown at us, particularly in the last two games against Mayo. We managed to overcome those obstacles so I’m proud of the lads.”

Macauley wasn’t making any claims for the quality of yesterday’s game.

“It was an awful day for football and it just had to be whoever was on the ball and whoever was alert for those breaks because the ball was breaking everywhere in the full-forward line and midfield.

“And whoever was going to be on the ball and wants to tune in and win those breaks is going to have a big say in who’s going to be the winner. I think it was close enough, but we managed to come out just a nose ahead in the breaks I’d say.

“It was hard-fought to the end. I think there was a lack of a defining goal that could have swung it either way. Look, we’re just happy to win it by anything.”

They’re not satisfied with what they’ve won so far, either.

“We’re not auld lads yet. Apart from Ally (Alan Brogan). No, so we still have a bit more bite in the auld dog. Hopefully we can add to the silverware.”

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