I reckon we are clear favs to win the 5 in a row, does that mean we will do so? By all means no, that is the nature of sport, the bottomline is the best team does not always win, but usually does. Personally I still see Mayo as the biggest danger, but I think they have to win connaught, I know they have always lacked something to get over the line and probably still do, but a year off last year and a change in management could be enough to at least get themselves back where they were, also think a serious effort in the league would be better for them, than a run through the qualifiers.
Tyrone and Monaghan, I see as much of a muchness, think they are lacking a bit in real quality and have probably more or less reached their limit with what they have, unless they can find a few very special players, just don’t see them upsetting us.
Kerry, well they will be in the super 8s no doubt, I don’t agree with those who say they have been improving, they had a very poor year last year and to cover it up to an extent Clifford was focussed on by the media rather than results and performance.As someone said they were steeped to be still in with a shout in the last round of the super 8s and then could only manage to come third out of a group of 4.
The one thing they have in their favour is their built in belief that they are one of the best and and are usually unfazed by playing in big games in Croker whereas a some of the other contenders tend to wobble when it comes to meeting us in a big game in Croker, but even at that it would take a huge improvement from last year for them to make it this year.
Galway, well I reckon Galway got shown up pretty badly against us last year, they played like a team that did not believe they could beat us, if they don’t throw off the shackles they are always going to be playing under fear, if they do, well it remains to be seen how good they are.
Donegal, similar to Tyrone and Monaghan, most teams suffer from the loss of Key players, but it seems to affect them even more, losing Paddy Mc last year killed them, if they can keep their best players on the team, they could easily make the semis…
My surprise choice would be Kildare, don’t think they will beat us, but they seem to be doing something right at underage and it seems to be slowly but surely carrying through, the Mayo win was huge for them last and gave them a huge confidence boost and even though they finished last in their group in the super 8s, they put in a few decent performances and were unlucky not to have won a game or two., I would say they were sneakily happy with the way things went in the later part of the year.
Given the nature of the competition it is hard to pick the teams that will make the super 8, but I would go for Dublin, Mayo, Kerry and Tyrone as provincial winners and then it is the luck of the draw for the other places.