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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Cathal Noonan/INPHO Dublin footballer Denis Bastick.
# Under Pressure
'The press came down hard on us, they picked holes in a lot of us'
Denis Bastick recalls the tough days for the Dubs.

NEXT SUNDAY DUBLIN contest a sixth successive All-Ireland semi-final.

They’ve become mainstays on the last four stage but there are still recent days when the quarter-final proved the graveyard of Dublin’s ambitions.

2009 was their Bank Holiday Monday meltdown against Kerry. Denis Bastick had a front-row view of the carnage at full-back and the Dublin football post-mortems that ensued afterwards.

“You’’re out there, trying your best, and if it doesn’’t work out, it doesn’’t work out,” outlines Bastick.

“You remember things like that, things that are written. Maybe I wasn’’t up to scratch at that time. I just took the criticism on, and tried to learn from it.

“The press came down hard on us, they picked holes in a lot of us. Some stuff was written that time so you have to reassess yourself and get back on the wagon.

Adam Goldrick-McCann and Grace Goldrick-McCann with Denis Bastick Morgan Treacy / INPHO Denis Bastick at the AIG Home Insurance Launch in Parnell Park Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

“You have your doubts and until you get over that final hurdle they are always going to be in your kind.

“It is a great place we are in right now. We have got the experience of winning. We have done it twice in recent years and we will use that the next day.”

The roof caved in on Dublin early in that 2009 clash.

“I think Tommy Walsh started, and Declan O’’Sullivan came in,” recalls Bastick.

“They had their homework done, and played it out that day, and didn’’t play the normal, orthodox, big man in the square.

“They changed things around and obviously that worked well. It was going great, up to the quarter-final. We hadn’’t let in any goals up to that stage.

Tommy Walsh with Denis Bastick Donall Farmer / INPHO Denis Bastick and Tommy Walsh in action in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

“Then the floodgates opened. Some tough memories, but we learned from it. Those battles make you stronger.

“It was challenging, not doing yourself justice, not putting in a performance.

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“But I learned lessons. Kerry came in under the radar. There are no guarantees in sport.”

Denis Bastick with his son Aidan James Crombie / INPHO Denis Bastick with his son Aidan after this year's Leinster final win. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Dublin may have finally conquered the All-Ireland stage but Bastick has a determination to press on.

“I’’ve been lucky to achieve a lot of my goals, but I;’m not finished yet.

“We were disappointed last year. We set out at the start of the year and our aim was to win an All-Ireland.

“If you come out to our training sessions, you’ll see the hunger that we have there. These guys in our camp are hungry for success and a win as well.

“It’s good to have that in the locker, that experience.”

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