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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Philly McMahon in the mix for player of the year

McMahon now in frame for top gong

Dublin's Philly McMahon and Kerry's Colm Cooper in conversation after the game
Dublin's Philly McMahon and Kerry's Colm Cooper in conversation after the game

AT half-time yesterday, we joked about how Colm Cooper had his hands full marking Philly McMahon.

McMahon for Footballer of the Year?

A corner-back for such a gong isn't the sort of punt with too much money resting on it but after yesterday's silencing and, yes, domination of Cooper, coming so soon after a similarly fine job on Aidan O'Shea, the Ballymun man has to be centrally in the frame.

"I'm loving it, yeah. It's another way of keeping your man away from the goal," he reasoned afterwards.

"You just want to do your job and make sure he doesn't get as much ball as he'd like or get as many scores as he'd like.

"After that, you just add on to it.

Laughed

"All the backs have that licence.

"We're told to go out and express ourselves and we showed that today.

"Jonny got forward a few times today and it's great to have that expression that we have today.

"If you told me I'd win one All-Ireland before I got on the Dublin team, I'd have laughed at you," he added.

"We still have a few more to go before we catch up with the lads we played against today.

"But we're grateful for winning three.

"We had a lot of people this year who were spiritually helping us work hard.

"We had the Harris brothers that passed away, we had Davy Billings, we had Andy Kettle, we had the young people in Berkeley. Those people make you cherish what you have.

"When you see unfortunate things happening like that, it makes you love getting out onto Croke Park and just living life, I suppose."

Declan Darcy, for one, thinks McMahon deserves high recognition.

"I suppose if he was any other player, everybody would be talking about him getting Player of the Year to be honest," the Dublin selector said.

"I know he has that kind of hate thing to him, that kind of Ryan McMenamin thing going on.

"But at the same time, he's been huge for us.

"The runs he made on the Gooch today, we knew that it would put real pressure on Colm to go back with him.

"Who would want to do that?

"Especially when you're a top class forward, you don't want to be running up and down after a corner back.

"So that was really important for us and Philly has been magnificent."

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