They’ll be coming down from an incredible high but Anthony Daly has no doubt his Dublin players will be mentally and physically right for Sunday’s Leinster final against Galway.
The Clareman believes his players’ ability to keep their feet on terra firma has been key to this run to a provincial decider.
“While we didn’t buy into the doom and gloom after the drawn match below in Wexford — we knew we weren’t good, we knew we must improve — we got no credit for the replay victory, which I thought was a good, solid victory against an up-and-coming Wexford team.
“We didn’t get carried away and we won’t get carried away this week either. We’ll stick to our guns now, and we’ll try and get a big performance on Sunday.
“It’s going to be very difficult, playing a fifth week in-a-row, but in fairness to (trainer) Ross Dunphy, he has the boys in fantastic shape and the medical staff have done a great job — we’re getting a few breaks on the injury front, which we mightn’t have got over the last couple of years.”
Having to play at Croke Park is something he brought up, having played on smaller provincial pitches in recent weeks. “We haven’t been putting up big scores, but you look at the places like Wexford Park, Parnell is tight, here (O’Moore Park) is tight enough! So, look, it’s a big test against a fresh Galway team going out in Croker.”
So what was the difference between Dublin’s preparations last year and this time? “We didn’t show up on the night (last year). We probably put too much store on the date. This year we’ve worked on the season. We’ve worked on getting out of Division 1B first. We looked no further than Wexford after that.
“It doesn’t make up for anything — it’s just what it is tonight. They’re cliched stuff — ‘make up for last year’. At the risk of sounding like Roy Keane (laughs) — I’m enjoying it alright!”
As for whether Dublin supporters will turn out in force for them next Sunday with the footballers having played yesterday, Daly smiled: “I don’t know, sure it would be up to any lads to decide what’s in his wallet.
“But you saw the reaction of the diehards out there. They’ve great hurling people there. We’ve always said it, we wouldn’t be in any of these nights — or a good night, in any way — only for the work of all the lads that have just brought these lads through. Fellas in the likes of Crokes and ’Boden and Lucan. We’ve a small enough pick, we’ve only a few clubs. But it’s a great lift for those lads.”
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