I never doubted Dubs... and their win left me in tears
THE memories all came flooding back for me in Croke Park yesterday.
It took me back to that rain-sodden afternoon in 1983 when we won the All-Ireland title, beating Galway in the final.
And I have to admit I had tears to my eyes yesterday. It was so emotional.
It was fantastic, a super win and it was long overdue. Beating Kerry in the manner that they did made it extra special.
It's great for Dublin football. We needed it badly. It will do wonders for the game. Some of the fans thought we were beaten when Kerry went four points up.
But I never doubted that the lads could come back and make up that deficit. For a start, there was still enough time on the clock. They never dropped their heads. The lads kept trying.
They have been showing that kind of resolve all year and you have to admire their character for it.
I was delighted to see Kevin McManamon come on. The way he plays, he's always likely to get a goal. He's very strong and he runs at defences. He causes problems for defenders with his direct style. He is a terrific forward. He has good pace and he has done well this season. It was a smashing goal he got and came just at the right time.
The changes Dublin made were spot on. The fresh legs were introduced just when they were most needed. It was excellent judgment from Pat Gilroy and his managerial colleagues, Mickey Whelan, David Hickey and Paddy O'Donoghue.
The Kerry subs didn't make all that much of an impact on the game. We had the stronger bench.
All in all there's a marvellous spirit in the Dublin squad. That's why you could never doubt them. And it was nice to see the minors also running around the pitch at the end. They were unlucky.
The future of Dublin football looks good. Bringing Sam home will give everybody connected with Dublin GAA such a lift.
Full credit to Pat Gilroy and everybody in the camp. They worked so hard for it.
Sixteen years was a long time to wait. And now it's going to be a long week.
Joe McNally is a Hill 16 legend and All-Star. He was one of the famous Twelve Apostles when Dublin won the All-Ireland in 1983 and was a star forward on that side. The previous year, as a goalkeeper, he helped Dublin to lift the All-Ireland Minor title