All Ireland SFC Semi Final, Dublin v Galway, Croke Park, Saturday 11th August, 5pm


They don’t have the calibre of player all around the pitch to try it - that’s why they don’t. Maybe these scenarios with their top players one on one would yield some success but the one on ones elsewhere would likely be disastrous. We have no weak links and have players on the bench as good as the starting XV. Nobody else has that.


We are in a very strange position, an All Ireland semi and I could only name 8 guys that I would be 100% sure will start. Maybe I would be lucky and get 11 or 12, but it would be luck. I have never known such a fluid team selection.

If we weren’t successful people would say that Gavin doesn’t know his best 15, but as it is, they will just talk about our strength in depth.


Reckon Gavin picks a team based on his assessment of who is his best players are combined with the needs of a particular game. Very few saw O Gara starting last years final But he had done well against Mayo previously and is the best man to win ball in he square. Anyway I reckon he will -on a horses for course basis -put Murchan on Burke who if he played soccer would be called a number 10. He will put Small on Walsh to curb his runs. He will double up on Comer with one of fitz/cooper/philly marking with Cian sweeping in front. With their 3 main threats neutralised Gavin expects the rest to trump their immediate opponents and win the game.
For what its worth.
1 Cluxton
2 Cooper
3 Fitz/Philly
4 Murchan
5 Small
6 Cian
7 Jack
8 James
9 Fenton
10 Scully
11 Con
12 Killkenny
13 Rock
14 mannion
15 Howard
Interesting that players 9 to 15 did not feature at all last saturday and some only a bit part. Some squad. Think only David Byrne and Diarmuid not presently available


Club orders had to be in by Sunday evening so I presume that would dictate how many go on sale through Supervalu/Centra and online on Monday morning.


Tickets still available on the terrace ones are Nally


Good post avb

If we do start with the same forwards that started against Tyrone, we’ll need more of a return from the starting 6 forwards where only Rock and CK are keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Mannion and Con worked really hard on and off the ball but now that we’re I business ends, we’ll need scores from them also ( they were our two top scorers from play last year).

My prediction after Saturday was that Costello might come in for Scully to add a bit of directness and scores but have a feeling now that he may still be left in reserve


Considering what he he to Donegal and that he was rested there is absolutely no way that Niall Scully will be left out.

The team that started out in the league final v Galway was -

  1. Stephen Cluxton
  2. Philip McMahon
  3. Michael Fitzsimons
  4. David Byrne
  5. James McCarthy
  6. Jonny Cooper
  7. John Small
  8. Brian Fenton
  9. Michael Darragh Macauley
  10. Brian Howard
  11. Kevin McManamon
  12. Niall Scully
  13. Dean Rock
  14. Ciarán Kilkenny
  15. Paul Mannion

With Cian O’Sullivan for David Byrne and Con O’Callaghan for Kevin McManamon and barring any injuries I think he’ll go with the same team. MDMA played all 70 mins so maybe he is at risk of losing out to Mcaffrey and a reshuffle out the backline. Otherwise i think he’ll leave Cormac Costello, Jack McCaffrey and Kev McManamon for the second half to run directly at Galway. As was pointed out on another thread there is no way he rested 5-6 only for not to start them the next.

Don’t have the programe but i was struck the last day about how certain players are relied on to start all the time, Mannion despite not shooting the lights out is one of these as his role is much more than a corner forward, think Jim would trust him to tackle back more than Costello.

At the back discipline from Cooper, McMahon and Fitz will be needed to stop Galway looking for soft frees, Darren Daly seems to be managements preferred closer at the end of games doesn’t do spectacular just does the simple thing very well and does dive in and foul.


But do you think they’re playing to their strengths? Look at Tyrone against us in the final 10 minutes when they actually attacked, they caused us problems. They’ve got players up front who can hurt teams, and Galway do too, but because of their system we don’t see that


Im from the hurling part of Galway so take my views with a pinch of salt but I would love Kevin Walsh to say to the lads right we all know Dublin have the best team so lets go out today and feck the defensive system and push up on Dublin and give it a right lash and we would probably be beaten by 8 points but I just am sick thinking about us falling back while the Dubs move it quickly and put it over the bar. We have really good players but when Shane is picking it up in our D then Philly and the lads can relax but if Shane has it on the Dublin 45 and is moving forward then Philly and the lads have something to think about. A Dublin wide fest or complacency or Galway deciding to go for broke and feck the final score and we will have a right game otherwise Jim Gavin moves towards a historic 4 in a row with little effort.


I think so.

Jim Gavin’s quotes on Costello also hinted at why he hasn’t played as often in previous years.


Galway looked poor at the weekend but they were already through against a fighting for their life Monaghan, expect to see them a lot more fired up this week.


Think they will certainly be wired for this to the point that there will probably be a lot of crap going on off the ball. Think however that thru the Super 8s their system has been shown to be limited and flawed. They have some good players but like all the teams that play this defensive muck if Plan A doesn’t work well then they… revert to Plan A. We build a decent lead early on think it could be like Tyrone last year all over again.


Oh i agree, i bloody hate these defensive tactics and hope we kill this tactic off for once and for all this year, themselves and tyrone have the players to play proper football. Just hope our FF lines bring their shooting boots because chances are going to be hard to come by with all those bodies back.


I wish that were so. I thought after last years destruction of Tyrone, that was the end of defense-turn over-break. But of the remaining 4, Dublin are the only team that can play another way. Managers across the country who are under pressure to produce look at this and see that you can be competitive using the blanket system, even when talent is lacking.


If Galway go toe-to-toe with Dublin next Saturday evening, the game will be over as a contest by half time.

Galway’s very defensive setup, coupled with their measured buildup is the best bet to ensure they are in contention with 10 minutes to go.

Dublin can be got at, but I am of the opinion it would have to be a dying moments, and well measured, smash and grab.

Anything else would be a charge of the Light Brigade.


Yea agree, they’re not going to go for it now, they’re going to try and frustrate us initially, and then take a goal chance or two if they get them.


100%. This game will be Arseboxing for the first 15-20 minutes, with the scoreboard probably about 0-02 Vs 0-04 at that point.

A frantic end to the first half, as both teams try to deliver the sucker punch 35th minute goal, followed by a good old fashioned row as the whistle blows.

Rinse and repeat the second half, where, on a wet evening, anything could happen. This equally applies to Galway getting there or there abouts, as opposed to Dublin putting them away in a ten point spread.


I think you could be spot on with that team. Although if Murchan takes Burke, that puts Murchan into the full back line which is a little dodgy.

I wonder what the craic with Byrne, he played for Olaf’s a couple of weeks ago, so he must be nearly back, but he isn’t featuring at all. Last weekend should have been ideal for him.

Costello might have earned a start, even if Gavin wants to hold him in reserve. He needs to reward form as well, and Costello is flying.

Flynn might not be too far away either. He could be worth starting to bed the game in and then to change him. Not too much can go wrong if Flynn is on the field. Dublin seem to fear giving away too much of an early lead, that is why things are usually kept tight until the third quarter. But if I was going out to beat Dublin, I would go for goal. In tight games, Dublin usually win by the difference in the amount of goals scored.


Jaysus lads ye make it sound like an exciting contest! Ye are right of course we wont go gung ho it will be dour and if it does lash rain then it will be a long evening.


Any idea who the ref will be. Could have a major influence on the game, Galway will bring physical challenge and expect them to really get in Dublin’s face.

In the league final a lot of messing went on and both sides should have seen a few black cards. In that game with 60 minutes to go it was a draw game, i’d say there will be no deviation in tactics from Galway as they will try to do same again. It was a draw in Salthill aswell so only way they will come out of there shell is it Dublin Get a goal and they have to play. I honestly think Galway are a better team and have much better players than the way they play but I suppose first semi final in 17 year they’re gonna stick with it.

I’m not a confident as everyone else, its going to be very tight and in a tight game one bad referee’s call could turn it, I hope i’m wrong.