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Thursday 29 September 2016

Players are the ones to bring success

McMahon insists his only goal is to maintain his place in the side after best season to date

John West ambassadors including Dublin footballer Philly McMahon were in attendance to help launch the John West sponsorship of Féile competitions (SPORTSFILE)
John West ambassadors including Dublin footballer Philly McMahon were in attendance to help launch the John West sponsorship of Féile competitions (SPORTSFILE)

The surge to attribute Dublin's awesome recent success to some mix of economic, population or structural factors has, in the words of one of the players "put a shadow over" what they've achieved.

"It's disappointing to hear these things because it's the players at the end of the day that bring the success," said Philly McMahon at a promotional appearance yesterday, the chimes of praise still ringing in Dublin's ears after their latest and perhaps most persuasive performance of dominance.

"And yes there has been structures put in and, you know, you look at the development and stuff like that.

"But at the end of the day, there's a squad picked, there's 15 players that go out on the pitch and there's six subs that come on.

Attitude

"We're the ones that are on the pitch that have to win that game.

"You can talk about the county board and Dublin and stuff like that, GAA, whatever it is but the facts are that the players who are picked to go out on the pitch, they're the ones that have to bring the attitude on the day and bring the performance and that's all it comes down to.

"So, I don't know, it kind of disappointments me to hear things like that because it kind of puts a shadow over what you've done."

Which is probably the least of McMahon's worries just now but there has been a noticeable attempt in some parts to brand Dublin's recent gains as being somehow ill-gotten.

"As a footballer," he continued, "you've worked your whole life to get to where you are in your career, your sporting career, you train, you prepare every year to go out and compete and to perform and to go out and wear that jersey and then you have people coming out with things for that.

"But look, you have to just get on with it and I think it's just about the players that get on the pitch, we're going there to perform and represent the Dublin jersey."

Which isn't to say that McMahon has all the answers as to why Dublin can go from where they were at the start of his inter-county career; a discernible distance behind Tyrone and Kerry to where they are now - being considered alongside the greatest.

"It generally comes down to so many variables that you can't actually put it down to one thing," he said.

"No, we can't say that we just work harder than any other county.

"But there is an amalgamation of a load of other things have brought us together.

"We're very lucky. Age could be one of the things. To be born to be able to play at this age, you could have missed it by two or three years if you were born younger, or maybe you wouldn't have got as much as the five or six years we've had.

"I've been part of the Dublin team, 2008 where I would have looked on from the bench and said, 'God, I'd love to try and help this team develop and win things', and I think that definitely had an influence on players wanting to help Dublin become more successful.

"There's no doubt that there's thousands of thousands of kids, when I was looking at Dublin, were going 'I'd just love to help them to win an All-Ireland'. 'I'd love to help them to do that'.

Last year, McMahon's stated goal was to start every game in an All-Ireland winning Dublin team.

Now, he says his aims haven't been adjusted in any way.

"The same thing," he says, identifying his seasonal goals.

"I think you can get ahead of yourself.

"Standards go up a little bit because you've achieved that but I thought at the start of the year, do the goals change?" said the Ballymun clubman.

Peeled

"Probably not. Off the pitch you want to just get that jersey and if you start thinking of, 'I want to play, I want to be the best player on the team, the best player in the country', whatever it is, you'll find it very hard to get that jersey.

"Because you're not focusing on the smaller things," McMahon concludes, "and that's what I've kind of peeled back a little bit."

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