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Paul Clarke and Keith Galvin celebrate All Ireland success in 1995.
Paul Clarke and Keith Galvin celebrate All Ireland success in 1995.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Paul Clarke backs Dublin for All-Ireland success ahead of Cork clash

The former Dubs defender and assistant coach believes Jim Gavin’s men are the most rounded of the challengers for Sam Maguire.
Aug 3rd 2013, 2:14 PM 1,979 27

PAUL CLARKE KNOWS what it is like to be agonisingly close to All Ireland glory before hopes are dashed and another year fritters away.

The former Dublin midfielder [it was the position he primarily featured in] played in four All Ireland finals but only tasted success in 1995 when his county defeated Tyrone.

“We had come so close, on so many occasions, that it was great to just finally win one,” he told Club GAA. “That year there was just a tremendous sense of determination within the whole squad that we would not be beaten.”

Many of the current Dublin squad, who face Cork at Croke Park in the All-Ireland quarter final today, experienced the joy of lifting the Sam Maguire in 2011. However, Jim Gavin’s side features a host of new faces looking to break through, win the ultimate prize and, possibly, start a cup-winning dynasty.

Clarke believes Gavin’s Dublin are well equipped for a sustained push for silverware over the coming years. He praises players such as Ger Brennan, goalkeeper and captain Stephen Cluxton and Paul Flynn, a ‘specimen of a footballer’. The Dublin bench, he adds, is another strength and one that offers them an edge over many competitors.

“Dublin have to tighten up in one or two areas,” said Clarke. “I think they have to prove they are a better defensive side, when they have to defend.

You take a look at the teams that are left in the championship and Dublin will adapt their style of play to each team.”

He added, “I have been on Dublin sides where we have been favourites to win the All-Ireland and it hasn’t worked out. All they can do is take one game at a time and see how they go.”

The full interview with Clarke is available in the August issue of Club GAA magazine.

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