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'It's like Abramovich going into the Premier League' - Jim McGuinness on Dublin's impact

The Donegal boss thinks the divide is getting ‘bigger and ‘bigger’.

Jim McGuinness congratulates Alan Brogan after the 2011 semi-final between Donegal and Dublin.
Jim McGuinness congratulates Alan Brogan after the 2011 semi-final between Donegal and Dublin.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DONEGAL MANAGER JIM McGuinness admits the perceived advantages Dublin have over the rest of the leading contenders for the Sam Maguire is “a worry” and compared their rise to prominence with Chelsea’s after Roman Abramovich took control of the club.

The 2012 All-Ireland winning boss admits Dublin are not the first team have a “professional” set-up but his concerns stem from the level they’ve taken the game to.

“It is, it has to be (a worry). I think the divide is becoming bigger and bigger. Dublin are way out in front of everyone.

“I suppose if we were having this conversation 10 years ago you’d have said Kerry was the team with all the resources, really looked after players with jobs, Kerry Group supporting them and that type of thing.

“It’s like Abramovich going into the Premier League. It’s a different ball game.

“The level they’ve taken sports science to and nutrition, strength and conditioning, the amount of coaches they have; it’s a professional set up in every sense. They’re getting the benefits of that now.£

However, McGuinness accepts the problem doesn’t lie with Dublin who can’t be criticised for doing things correctly. Instead, it’s up to everyone else to follow suit.

“There is no point in us criticising Dublin just because they have their house in order. That’s the challenge. It’s up to everyone else to respond to that. It can be done.

“Look at Liverpool last year. They nearly won the league after being out of the top four for a long time.

“You need a togetherness and a lot of focus. You need good footballers as well.”

Cormac Costello after scoring a goal Cormac Costello is one of the next generation of Dublin stars. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

McGuinness also believes there’s no chance of the Blues’ production line coming to a halt any time soon with success breeding success, something he’s all too familiar with.

“They won the All-Ireland in 2011 after a long break. The young lads that saw that breakthrough at 14, a bit like ourselves in 2012, I’d imagine a torch was lit under a lot of kids.

“They won it again in 2013 and every kid in the city now wants to be the next Bernard Brogan. That’s huge momentum.”

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