The National Football League is over, teams will now be preparing for the 2019 championship. With the group stage quarter finals set to be here again we have decided to look at what 8 teams we think will reach the round robin quarter finals.
- Kerry – Kerry had a good league campaign going all the way to league final before losing to Mayo. I expect Peter Keane’s charges to reach the Super 8’s easily enough. They will breeze through Munster. Peter Keane has superb players to choose from David Clifford, Sean O’Shea, James O’Donoghue, Paul Geaney and Tommy Walsh, 5 forwards on their day would be match winners.
2. Dublin – Dublin had a poor league campaign losing three games. Many would say Dublin are on a downward spiral, rule them out at your peril. This could of been the plan all long to take the league easy and then hit the ground running for summer. Jim Gavin’s charges will probably saunter to another Leinster title but they may not get it all their own way when it comes the Super 8’s. As we all know great teams always have an end will it be 2019 for Dublin. I doubt it. Chasing the five in a row to create more history.
3. Mayo – The 2019 National League champions and deservedly so. James Horan in his first year back the job will target at least the Super 8’s. Mayo failed to reach the Super 8’s last year so they will be looking to make up for that. What I like about the Mayo many players have been to the well so many times over the last 10 years with the county and they always come back fighting year after year. Andy Moran and Keith Higgins have been real servants to the county and wouldnt it be great for them to win an All-Ireland medal. Hopefully a big year for them.
4. Tyrone – They lost the 2018 All-Ireland to Dublin and that game was over after half an hour to be fair. Tyrone won 4 games in a row in the league beating Dublin also. They could have made the league final but they needed some results to go their way. They are not as defensive and are scoring more which is obviously going to help win games. Mattie Donnelly has been excellent and if his form continues into the Summer then Mickey Harte’s men could be in the mix for Sam again.
5. Galway – Galway probably would feel they need to make a statement this year by making an All-Ireland Final. They have won a couple of Connacht titles, but nothing better than that. Galway have some good players like Shane Walsh, Danny Cummins, Johnny Heaney in attack. These will need to be at their best to make a massive impact.
6. Monaghan – They escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth. They did beat Dublin however which was superb. Malachy O’Rourke’s men will need to have a big couple of games in Ulster to reach the Super 8’s which I expect them to. They reached the semi-final last year a step further is what Farney supporters will be looking for in 2019.
7. Roscommon – Anthony Cunningham in his first year in charge will be looking to guide the Rossies to the Super 8’s. They have been promoted from Division 2 and relegated from Division 1 a couple of times now. They have good players though like the Daly’s in defence, the Murtagh’s in attack, while Conor Cox has also been a massive addition. Should reach the last 8.
8. Donegal – Donegal have had a good year so far claiming Division 2 honours and heading back to Division 1 football. In truth they are a Division 1 team in my opinion. They have quality players Michael Murphy, Paddy McBrearty who missed the league should be back, while Odhran MacNiallais and Ryan McHugh are two more players which would get on any team in the country.
There are 3 or 4 other teams that can get in the mix for the Super 8’s. Cavan have been playing in Division 1 football for the last few years but were relegated this year. They won’t be to far away from getting into the Super 8’s players like Cian Mackey, Dara McVeety and Conor Madden will be big players for them. Cian O’Neill’s Kildare are another side to look out for. They were unlucky in Division 2 with a couple of draws. They were in the Super 8’s in 2018 so they know what to expect. Fermanagh and Meath are two other teams which could be in the mix. Fermanagh have a solid defence with Ryan McMenamin on board with Rory Gallagher, they will make the Ernersider’s difficult to beat. Meath will be back in the top flight in 2019. They have had a good campaign in the league. They will look to Cillian O’Sullivan, Bryan McMahon and Conor McGill for a big summer.