I think we may have gotten a glimpse of Gavin’s thinking for the latter stages of the Championship for a short period of the second half against Westmeath. Whether we play 1, 2 or 3 more games its safe to say that the teams we play will line up just as defensive as Westmeath did, they will however be better at breaking at speed.
I don’t think we will win an All-Ireland by simply playing our conventional best team. We have seen down the years that brilliant players from the full forward line have can add to a team by moving to midfield. I’m thinking Johnny Doyle from Kildare, Bryan Sheehan from Kerry and Richie Hogan from Kilkenny. Connolly playing midfield could add a whole new potency to our attack through his distribution, ability to do one-two’s off either foot and his general running game. Midfield may give Connolly more room to perform, his 2014 performance against Castebar Mitchells is etched in my memory.
Also, i think Paddy Andrews and Paul Mannion are too good to start on the bench. With Jack McCaffrey gone, i think Kilkenny could be a brilliant half back. Defensively he is very strong and good in the tackle, he would also offer a Jack type threat by running from deep.
Philly Cooper Byrne
Kilkenny Cian Small/McCarthy(if fit)
Flynn Andrews McMamamon
Rock Mannion Brogan
Subs: MDMA, Batick, Brady, Con, Costello, O’Gara, Brady, Fitz, Daly