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Championship looms for hopeful Dubs

This time of year means different things to different people, but for the Dublin GAA faithful, seeing summer on the horizon means only one thing: the Championship!

Each year the same familiar trickle of blue jerseys make their way to Hill 16 for another round of the most competitive action football has to offer, but what is it that gets them back year after year?

It isn’t the heartbreak of losing yet another semi-final, nor the missed frees in the final seconds of injury time. It is certainly that the All-Ireland victory of 2011 put a spring back in the step of the wilting choir of Croker. The excitement of passing through the turnstiles in September, clenching your blue flag to your side, the anticipation of being the best of the best for one more year.

When Jim Gavin took over at the helm of Dublin football in October 2012, he lifted the weight of the capital onto his willing shoulders. The four-man backroom team, the 30-plus-man panel, the hundreds of thousands of faithful fans.

The new look Dublin football team have made a bright start to 2013, kicking off their league campaign in style with a win over 2012 Champions Cork in Croke Park. The League final against Tyrone was a game that told a lot about this crop of Dublin players.

Despite the team playing without their playmaker Alan Brogan and with brother Bernard substituted in the second half on a day where he never truly hit the heights he is capable of, the Dubs pulled off an impressive win.

But the Championship is a whole different story, as so many teams from around the country know. The final team cuts are made that will pluck the best from a group of extremely talented and determined young players.

In Dublin’s case, the test of either Westmeath or Carlow on June 1st will certainly be an interesting opening to the season, for Jim Gavin’s young and relatively inexperienced squad, as hopes of bigger days in September rest heavily in the hearts of the Dublin faithful.

Photograph by Kevin Nolan courtesy of Dublin County Board

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