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Dubs are not certs now, championship is wide open - Whelan

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Ciarán Whelan rates Kerry

Ciarán Whelan rates Kerry

Ciarán Whelan rates Kerry

Sunday Game pundit Ciarán Whelan believes the GAA championship is more wide open than it has been in years.

The Herald columnist and former Dublin football squad member was speaking as RTÉ launched its championship coverage yesterday, bringing a record amount of live action across TV, radio and online.

The coverage will include 20 games on the Sunday Game Live and 16 games available in Ireland through GAAGO, building to the All Ireland Football Final on December 19, taking place under lights in Croke Park.

The Raheny clubman said that there are definitely challenges for Dublin, and "the baton will change at some point."

However, he said that teams this year will have to have significant depth to their panels.

"You are going to have Covid in the environment so it is very, very hard to say how it is going to impact on various teams," he pointed out.

Fellow pundit Pat Spillane insisted that Dublin are in pole position, but Kerry will be the "serious challenger" to their crown this year.

Interesting

Whelan said that "definitely Kerry are a team that are progressing, and I do think the nature of this year's championship makes it very, very interesting and it's much more of a level playing field."

He said that Dublin are certainly still strong, and strong contenders.

Speaking about Diarmuid Connolly, who recently announced his retirement from inter-county football, Whelan said that: "He has made his decision and we have to respect that."

However, he rated him as a "hugely influential player".

He was also asked about Bernard Brogan, saying: "I think they were both very, very different if I am being honest.

"I think Bernard really came into his own in 2010 and 2011 when Dublin probably played with a defensive mindset when [PAT] Gilroy set out a platform to match what was being done by successful teams.

"I think both of them are as influential as each other in the success Dublin had since 2011."