Pat Gilroy has named his Dublin team for the first hurdle in the defence of their All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title.
The Dubs begin their Leinster Championship campaign against a Louth team which last year failed to meet the expectation’s created by 2010’s controversial Leinster final appearance. Twelve of last year’s final team will start the game on Sunday.
Dublin come in on the back of a disappointing league campaign, where they finished fifth in division one, a 4-17 to 1-10 win against Armagh the only game where they showed flashes of last year’s scintillating championship form. The three changes are Ballymun Kickham’s Philly Mcmahon who comes in at corner back, with current St Vincent’s club man Eamon Fennell coming in at midfield and St Jude’s Kevin McManamon lining out at full forward.
McManamon’s introduction see’s Alan Brogan being brought further out the field into the wing forward position. The players to lose out from last year’s dramatic final win against Kerry are Cian O’Sullivan, Denis Bastick and Barry Cahill. The bookies offer no value on the Dubs with some quoting the All-Ireland champions as 1/16 to progress to the Leinster semi-final. The other point of note for Dublin supporter’s is the return of mercurial 2010 footballer of the year Bernard Brogan who had to sit out the entire league campaign through injury. Additionally Cian O’Sullivan, Davy Byrne and Paul Brogan were not considered through injury.
Louth have not yet named their side to travel to face Dublin, though even optimists within the wee county would struggle to give them much chance, despite a respectable fourth place in Division 2 of the league and Dublin’s indifferent form.
The game which will take place in Croke Park on Sunday will be preceded by the quarter-final meeting of Longford and Wexford.
Dublin (SFC v Louth) – Stephen Cluxton, Philly McMahon, Rory O’Carroll, Michael Fitzsimons, James McCarthy, Ger Brennan, Kevin Nolan, Eamon Fennell, Michael Darragh Macauley, Bryan Cullen, Alan Brogan, Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon, Bernard Brogan.