Dublin seek sixth title in Leinster SFC

It’s nearly that time of year again as championship fever gets ready to take over the country.

Expectancy has never been higher in the capital with Dublin entering the Leinster SFC as overwhelming favourites – aiming for their sixth consecutive provincial title.

However, delivering a Leinster crown is unlikely to satisfy the Dublin supporters this time around. If team manager Pat Gilroy, now in his second year in charge, is to justify his team’s progression then they must become genuine All-Ireland contenders this summer after being demolished by Kerry and Tyrone in the last two years in Croke Park at the quarter-final stage.

Gilroy has made significant changes to the Dublin team this time around after recognising the need for change. In have come new recruits including Ross O’Carroll, Eamon Fennell and Kevin McManaman among others to replace household names such as Ciaran Whelan, Shane Ryan and Mark Vaughan. It remains to be seen though how those new players will adapt to the intensity of championship football in the summer after impressing during the NFL.

Although Dublin had quite an impressive league campaign winning five of their seven matches; there are still many doubts about Dublin’s new style of football, which involves getting men behind the ball.

The ‘Sky Blues’ enter the provincial competition at the quarter-final stage, where they will meet a Wexford outfit  that have been on a downward curve since their All-Ireland semi-final appearance in 2008.

Kildare will be seen as the main threat to Dublin within the province after making exceptional progress last year under Armagh legend Kieran McGeeney, while Westmeath may have something to prove after player-power ousted manager Brian Hackett from his post last month.

Elsewhere there are three provisional round fixtures with Louth meeting Longford, Wicklow taking on Carlow and a transitional Meath facing Offaly with Kildare, Westmeath and Laois awaiting the respective winners.

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