Following their league defence, Dublin are evens favourites to win the All-Ireland title again this summer. Donall Farmer/INPHO
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'There's a little bit of scaremongering going on about Dublin' - Dessie Farrell

Dublin’s purple patch won’t last forever, U21 manager Dessie Farrell said.

FEARS THAT DUBLIN will dominate to the detriment of Gaelic football are “scaremongering” and premature, Dessie Farrell said.

Farrell’s U21s clinched their third All-Ireland title in five years last weekend, continuing a glorious spring which also saw the capital’s senior side win back-to-back league titles for the first time.

Bookmakers swiftly cut the Boys in Blue to evens favourites to win Sam Maguire for the third time in four years.

Their success, along with the size of the capital’s catchment area and the financial allure for sponsors, has again stoked fears that the playing field is becoming more and more skewed in Dublin’s favour.

Farrell disagreed and said: “I think there’s a little bit of scaremongering going on about Dublin and the success of Dublin. I think it’s probably a little bit too early to make a final call on that.

“While it has been great, wearing my Dublin hat, to win two senior All-Ireland titles in the last number of years, we were quite lucky in how we beat Kerry here in the semi-final and then last year there was only a point in [the All-Ireland final] so it’s not as if we’re steam rolling opponents in the championship.

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton with the Division 1 trophy Dublin clinched back-to-back league titles with their win over Derry last month. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

“I think last week’s National League has probably unnerved people in relation to that but I think the championship will be very, very different.

While we’re fortunate to have very good crop of players at senior and U21 level, I can’t see that being sustained. I think the challenge for Dublin people is to try and keep that going for as long as possible because it won’t last forever.

One suggestion is a ‘franchise’ model which would see some smaller counties grouped together to form a single championship team.

“That would be red rag to a bull for a lot of people,” Farrell added. “Ultimately you can’t impose anything on an individual county or a number of counties in that regard.

“It has to be of their own volition and there has to be an appetite to do that, and you may get to a place where there isn’t one even though logically and practically it might seem like the thing to do.

“Our games are so unique and they thrive on that parochial nature and that’s why they’ve prospered for over 100 years now. It’ll be a difficult model to break down and, as I said, I’m not sure what the appetite will be in the future.”

Dessie Farrell celebrates with his back room staff after the game Farrell and his backroom staff led Dublin to another All-Ireland U21 win against Roscommon last weekend. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Farrell, who is the chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association alongside his managerial duties, believes that there are different levels of ambition among players.

“For some players the big thing would be to win a provincial medal and that’s the number one goal.

“They’re not looking for All-Irelands because that’s probably a level beyond them. The reason they do what they do and commit the way they do is to win that provincial title and that sustains players at a level.

“For others, that’s not good enough any more, they want to be winning All-Ireland medals.

There’s two different things going on there and does that impact on the bigger picture long term — if there’s only a handful of counties in a position to win an All-Ireland for example, you’d have to ask yourself what’s the point?

“But in other sports that’s the way it is too. You look at the Premiership for example and yet that continues to thrive and be a success as well.

“Our games are unique but the challenges aren’t necessarily unique to the GAA.”

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