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'If you asked me to put money on it, I wouldn't': Former Dubs star not confident about five-in-a-row

Kieran Duff is worried about the various things that can happen throughout the season to threaten Dublin’s chances.

Dublin are chasing history in 2019.
Dublin are chasing history in 2019.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER DUBLIN STAR Kieran Duff says he’s not confident that his county can achieve the unprecedented five-in-a-row.

Jim Gavin’s side are chasing history this year after collecting the Sam Maguire for a fourth consecutive time last year, but Duff is wary of the various factors that could threaten their chances throughout the season.

He’s also conscious of the historical element attached to Dublin’s bid, given how Kerry’s drive for five was famously halted by Offaly in 1982.

If you asked me to put money on it now I wouldn’t,” said Duff at the launch of the new Laochra Gael series which will feature an episode about the 1983 All-Ireland winner.

“Just simply, so many things can happen between now and then.

“There’s going to be loads of pressure thrown at them. They’re good enough to win it but they’re so many things that can happen from guys losing form to referees’ decisions.

“When Offaly beat Kerry back in ’82, that type of thing. Dublin could lose players. We’ve been lucky over the years that we haven’t lost too many players, one maybe per year.”

Dublin have suffered two defeats so far in the Division 1 campaign, the second of which was a thrilling encounter with Kerry in Tralee earlier this month.

The reigning champions have lost league games before with a crunch tie awaiting them against Mayo this Saturday, but it’s unusual for Dublin to have so many black marks beside their name in the spring.

Kieran Duff Kieran Duff on the ball for Dublin in 1987. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Duff is quick to counter that “they’re human as well,” while also pointing to the fact that those losses to Kerry and Monaghan were played outside of Croke Park.

Taking Dublin out of Croke Park for their neutral Super 8s game has become a major discussion point recently, and Duff can understand the reasoning behind it.

“They have a point and we’re talking about the Super 8s. It’s probably going to happen and Donegal are putting in a motion.

“I’ve no doubt it will be passed and they’re probably dead right to do it. It is an unfair advantage. 

“Lookit, Dublin have no problem playing anywhere else in Ireland and that’s what it is.”

Prior to Dublin’s round 3 clash with Kerry, there were reports that St Vincent’s Diarmuid Connolly was involved in one-on-one sessions with Bryan Cullen with a possible view to rejoining the Dublin panel.

The two-time All-Star has been a notable absentee in the Dublin camp. He spent last summer playing football in Boston and his most recent appearance for the Dubs was a league outing against Mayo last February.

Gavin denied those reports of his return after that defeat to the Kingdom, but Duff believes that a forward of Connolly’s calibre would be a brilliant addition to the Dublin squad in their quest to complete the historic five-in-a-row.

I know we won last year’s All-Ireland without him but when you start losing guys for whatever reason, through loss of form, wouldn’t it be great to have Diarmuid Connolly on the bench even to throw in.

“He won the All-Ireland two years ago when he came off the bench against Mayo and changed it. Once there’s no disruption in the camp and no problem with bringing him in, I’d have Diarmuid Connolly there.”

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