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Wednesday 7 December 2016

A special bond

Kilkenny hails spirit and determination of Dubs

Ciarán Kilkenny with Dublin team-mate Stephen Cluxton following Sunday’s victory over Kerry at Croke Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ciarán Kilkenny with Dublin team-mate Stephen Cluxton following Sunday’s victory over Kerry at Croke Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ciaran Kilkenny has paid tribute to the "special bond" that drives the Dublin team after Sunday's victorious epic with Kerry.

"It was amazing," the 23- year-old, who spent periods of the match in both Dublin's attack and defence, admitted. "It was actually a special game to be involved in."

"Then when Eoghan (O'Gara) came on and got that score - it was so inspirational. Your blood is absolutely pumping."

Four years ago, Kilkenny left for Australia and the life of an Aussie Rules pro. Now, he's beginning preparations for a third All-Ireland final.

"It's not even about being successful," he says. "The thing that re-iterated that I made the right decision is the bond that you have with the lads on the team.

"It's such a special bond. Lads from different clubs in the county, how well we get on,. We would literally do anything for each other."

Dublin could anchor their place alongside the greatest teams of all time if they become just the second side in 27 years to stitch All-Irelands together on September 18. But Kilkenny is adamant that they must approach it as "just another game."

"We have to prepare for it like that," he insisted, "like we do for every other game."

One of Dublin's most consistent performers this summer, Kilkenny will begin preparations for his third All-Ireland final in Donegal, as part of a college course.

The Castleknock player is, however, confident that he "won't be missing any training sessions," as a result.

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