Someone tell Pat Kerry don't do pressure
Pat Gilroy’s attempts to divert the hype may be a little misplaced and there’s still no end in sight for miracle man Eamonn O’Hara.
Maybe it’s because there’s over a week to go, maybe it’s because the semi-final turned some people off, or maybe it’s because the hype police sent out to quell the enthusiasm of over-eager Dublin supporters are doing a bang-up job, but contrary to expectations, the build up to Dublin’s first All-Ireland final in 16 years has been a tad muted.
The fact that they are playing Kerry and all the history that comes with it makes the lacklustre build-up all the more noticeable, but even though there has been precious little hype so far, Pat Gilroy is already going out of his way to dampen it by heaping the pressure on the Kingdom ahead of the big game.
"There's a huge expectancy in their county that they're going to win this game," Gilroy said.
"That's what Kerry do - that's what they're expected to do. So there's a fair bit of pressure on them to go out and perform because Kerry have done this all the time against Dublin teams over the past 20 years.
"They don't want to be the first that doesn't. There's a fair bit of pressure on them to perform and with us it's a new experience - and people in Dublin are happy because we've got to a final.”
You’re right Pat, that is what Kerry do and yes, that is what they have been doing to Dublin teams for the past 20 years. But they’ve been doing it to every other county for the past 100 years and beyond and it hasn’t seemed to bother them too much. The pressure they will feel before the game is as much a part of their build-up as bananas, jaffa cakes and Lucozade Sport.
Put simply, Kerry don’t do pressure. It’s something Dublin may well find to their cost on Sunday week.
O’Hara goes on and on and on and on…
What with the hard slog of winter training, the unrewarded commitment and the personal sacrifices, inter-county football can be a tough and draining business at times, but nobody seems to have told Sligo’s Eamonn O’Hara, he of the high catches, trademark driving runs from midfield and spectacular finishes.
Despite having to undergo surgery recently to reconstruct his knee after suffering a dreaded torn cruciate knee ligament, wily ole O’Hara, 36 years young, is determined to keep pressing on next season, which will be his 19th as an inter-county player if all goes to plan.
"I had the operation three weeks ago and have had my right knee reconstructed. Thankfully, the surgeons said everything was a success so it is the road to recovery now,” O’Hara said yesterday.
"Three weeks on it feels good, but at the same time it will be six months down the line before I know how good it's going to be.
"Will it stand up to the wear and tear of inter-county football again? [It] is a decision I will be making further down the line but I intend to give it my best shot."
O’Hara made his championship debut as a callow 19-year old way back in the summer of 1994 against Mayo. To put that into some sort of context and to give you some idea of O'Hara's longevity, Love is All Around by Wet Wet Wet was top of the charts and Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty had yet to complete his first year on the planet.
Where does the time go?