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‘What was done last year and the level we got to will not be good enough this year’ – Dessie Farrell sounds Dublin warning


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Dublin manager Dessie Farrell during the Leinster SFC semi-final against Offaly at Croke Park. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell is adamant that the performances which saw Sam Maguire Cup return to the capital last year will not suffice if they are complete back-to-back All-Ireland SFC titles later this season.

Farrell’s side remain the game’s standard bearers after coasting past Offaly by 20 points to book their Leinster SFC final place and a possible 14th provincial crown in succession but “there always room for improvement”.

“We’d sort of look at some of the aspects of today’s performance that we weren’t happy with and people will say, ‘Jesus, when you look at the scoreboard how could you not be happy?’ Farrell said.

“But that’s the standard we set ourselves as a group. So we’ll definitely have some dimensions of that performance to pick at. Because I made the point outside, the competition this year generally is much stiffer than it was last year.

“We came out on top last year but that level of performance from last year, definitely, if we were to bring that again this year, at the same level, it won’t be good enough, and we know that for a fact.”

Perhaps with a nod to a possible clash with Jim McGuinness’s Donegal or Mickey Harte’s Derry, who beat them in the Division 1 league final, in the latter stages of the season, Farrell sees “a big improvement in the standard of the competition”.

One would suspect that Jack O’Connor and Kerry are also on his mind when he described how some of the chasing pack are “lying hurt and wounded in the long grass” as they plot how to take the Dubs down.

“I’ve seen a big improvement in the standard of the competition, in terms of what other teams are doing,” he added. “It comes from new managers in different counties and managers who have been there already who have evolved their teams’ performance to another level.

“Some of the younger talents within counties have had a year under their belts too, they’re a year more experienced.

“And then there’s the natural element that some teams and players will have felt that they missed an opportunity last year or could have done better last year or maybe didn’t fulfil their potential last year.

“They’ll be lying hurt and wounded in the long grass. So I have no doubt and we are very clear on that as a group that what was done last year and the level we got to will not be good enough this year.

“The challenge is there for us to improve wherever we can.”

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