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Dessie Farrell: 'I’m gutted for the lads inside there. They died with their boots on'

The Dublin boss saw his team lose a second successive All-Ireland semi-final.

Dessie Farrell with Jack O'Connor after the game.
Dessie Farrell with Jack O'Connor after the game.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Updated Jul 10th 2022, 10:39 PM

WITH THE WILD hysteria in the Kerry camp after Seán O’Shea’s sensational match-winner came the flipside of devastation for Dublin as they were caught at the finish line at Croke Park today.

It looked as if their second-half comeback would be rewarded with extra-time only for a semi-final exit to be their lot for the second year on the bounce.

“Sure that’s the nature of it, we’ve no excuses,” said Dublin manager Dessie Farrell afterwards.

“We just came up shy on the day and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I’m gutted for the lads inside there. They died with their boots on. We were in a sticky situation at half-time but we rallied, and they threw everything at it. I’m very proud of them in general.

“I was starting to go into overdrive in terms of what we needed to do (for extra-time) and we’d a plan in place for it anyway. But a plan is all well and good until you get punched in the nose as Mike Tyson said.

“The foul, I think it probably was a foul to be fair. I didn’t see it. But just from the side-line, it looked to be. 

“It was just an immense kick. That breeze was difficult to kick into. I don’t know whether it died a little in the second-half, but it was a touch of class.”

Dublin’s experienced figures stood tall in the second half with James McCarthy in particularly inspirational form.

“They were going strong at the end. Some of that crew have a lot of miles on the clock and have given the most immense service to Dublin football. But I’d be hoping for Dublin football that they, James in particular, stays around because the group dynamic has changed demonstrably over the last number of years.

“A lot of young players, new players, many of them got game time today. Those players need the likes of James McCarthy and the Jonny Coopers and those lads to stay around and lead the way, because they follow brilliantly, to be fair to those young lads.

“And having that type of leadership at the helm is really important. So I’d be hoping that that crew have more to give.”

james-mccarthy-dejected A dejected James McCarthy after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Farrell refused to point to Con O’Callaghan’s injury-enforced absence as the reason for their loss.

“Con is special, we all know that. Time ran out for him. He did everything possible but it wasn’t going to be.

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“But we discussed it during the week. We were either going to be good enough, or we were not going to be good enough. And that’s the way we approached it. You get to play 15, you get to bring on five. It’s us and them, and let’s see where the cards fall. And we came out the wrong side of that unfortunately.”

Farrell was asked about his future plans after his three-year term has now concluded.

“Do you know what, and you may say I’m talking through my backside, but that hasn’t come into the equation at all. We’ll have a couple of weeks to reflect on that. Obviously, that old cliché, there is going to be no decisions made tonight. For me, it’s about the players. It was great to see that type of performance today, that type of coming together.

“And the young lads finding themselves in that group is important, that sense of belonging. We struggled with that earlier in the year perhaps. As time moved on, players found their feet, led by those great individuals that are in the mix of course. For me, that’s the crucial thing. It’s what’s next for them. I’m optimistic and hopeful for what the future holds for that group.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Croke Park

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