Does anyone remember 1995, the year Dublin last won the All Ireland in football? Yeah i didn't think so. It has become a distant memory for most of us, a noose around the necks of the people from the Capital. Is this the year that we need not have to look back sixteen years to our last success and finally put pride back into the Dublin jersey? Can we dare dream that this will be our year!? It has simply amazed me that we haven't managed to win more All Ireland's, we've certainly punched well below our weight. The reason for our lack of success, is partially due to the quality of our opposition, but also that Dublin have had this annoying habit of capitulating, caught like a rabbit in the headlights, basically failing to preform, or throwing away what one would have thought were insurmountable leads! (Remember Kerry in 2009 and Mayo in 2005?) It's an interesting point that many teams which have faced and beaten Dublin, especially during the last decade has so often gone on to on to win Sam. Maybe this time a role reversal is in order, that we'll beat teams like Tyrone and go on to win that much sought after trophy many times this decade, beginning this year!. Whatever it is, possibly physiological issues which has prevented Dublin from even reaching a final since 1995, i think those issues have probably been sorted out now.(that's if Donegal don't spring a surprise). But something positive has happened to Dublin this year and the way we are playing. I've never seen such hunger to win a ball in a long time, they run for it as if their lives depend on it, and clearly teams like Tyrone could not deal with our physical power and speed last weekend. Bernard Brogan is an incredible talent, and unplayable when at his best. Stephen Cluxton is simply the best goalkeeper in the country, scoring a few points for us in the process. Diarmaid Connelly seems to have found his form, lets hope he plays like he did against Tyrone again. Fitness certainly won't be an issue with Dublin, and neither will skill, all we need is calm heads.
In the past we would not have been able to cope with the pressure and have blown games against both Kildare and Wexford this year. But the fact we held our nerve, kept our cool and won those games (albeit with a bit of luck and controversy!) should warn Donegal and hopefully either Kerry or Mayo next, that Dublin mean business, that this time we will pull through and win those must win matches. I was seven years of age in 95', on Hill 16, i don't recollect a thing. If we win Sam this September i'll never forget it, and if we somehow manage to beat both Tipperary and Kilkenny, in the hurling, i'll be laughing all the way back home, possible shouting like a madman outside my car window as i shout Dublin Dublin until i lose my voice. But it'll be worth it!