Dublin captain Bryan Cullen expects the All-Ireland-winning U21s about to come into the senior panel to make the step-up with relative ease.
Players such as Ciarán Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey are likely to figure in Pat Gilroy’s plans this summer and Cullen reckons their conditioning will ensure they won’t be bullied.
He said: “I remember my first training session. I was marking Senan Connell. I was playing wing-back. I was just in awe at the pace of the game. I just couldn’t keep up with it at all. It did take me until the end of the summer until I felt confident that I could compete at this level.
“In contact situations where you’re used to being physically stronger, now you have Ciarán Whelan running into you. It’s a little bit of a shock.”
“[The new recruits] would have been better prepared than I would have been 10 years ago. They would be in physically better conditioning.”
Cullen, having also won an U21 All-Ireland in 2003, feels the new boys have the right mentality to make it with Dublin.
“We certainly wouldn’t have feared anyone. I suspect it’s the same with these guys. They’re young, ambitious and they will have no fear. That’s a huge advantage,” he added.
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