The build-up to Sunday’s showdown with the Dubs is now well and truly underway and this is reflected in the pre-match coverage that’s starting to appear. Before moving onto that, though, there are two bits relating to last Sunday’s action that are worth dealing with first.
First of these is Emmet Ryan’s tactical take over at Action81.com on our minor semi-final defeat to Meath which is here. Emmet will be guesting here on the site once again later in the week when he’ll be providing some thoughts on next Sunday’s match.
The second is Eugene McGee’s unintentionally hilarious column in yesterday’s Indo, where he had this to say about Cork’s defeat on Sunday:
When favourites lose a big game in Croke Park the winners often do not get the credit they deserve — as those who have tipped the favourites tend to blame the losers more than praising the winners.
Mayo/Cork 2011, anyone?
Uncle Eugene then goes on to say that “only a fool who would back either Dublin or Mayo to beat this Donegal team in the All-Ireland final”. The bookies would certainly agree with this assessment but I’m sure Jimmy McGuinness and his backroom team will be more than a little alarmed to see themselves being anointed as champions almost a full month before the final is played. It’ll be hard, I’d say, to keep the lid on things in the hills over the next few weeks.
Right – onto today’s papers where there’s plenty of reading about Sunday’s match to entertain you.
We had our press night (our one and only one – there’ll be no more hobnobbing with the Fourth Estate from our side ahead of Sunday now) last week and the journos obviously cornered Seamus O’Shea at it because there are interviews with him in the Indo, the Examiner and on GAA.ie.
The Indo has plenty of other stuff, including the confirmation from Dublin that key man Alan Brogan should be fit to start for them. The Indo also has a separate piece with Pat Gilroy who is obviously happy with all the media fawning that’s going on with Donegal and the way that it has taken the focus off his lads. He says: “if they are still not talking about us and we win the next two matches I’ll be happy. It’s not about being talked about, it’s about the result.” Sentiments that I’m sure our man would concur with. The same paper has an interview with Michael Darragh Macauley who looks back to the trimming we gave the Dubs down in McHale Park at the end of March and swears bitter vengeance for that result.
The Examiner – when you beat your way through a thicket of stuff about Donegal and more stuff about Cork and then more stuff about Kerry’s new manager – have an interview with Pat Gilroy where he talks about their prep and their hunger for the battle that lies ahead. He also has a bit to say on the topic of refereeing and I’d agree with him when he says that the level of officiating has been “very consistent” this summer. Consistently shite but consistent nonetheless.
The Times also has an interview with Dublin’s manager (it was their press night last night, just in case anyone thinks the coverage is a bit canted in the metropolitans’ direction this morning) where much of the same ground is covered. In this one, Pat says that he can “barely remember” the 2006 semi-final and he understandably places far more emphasis on our meeting back in March. Still, if it’s reminding about 2006 that he needs, then this should do the trick: