Thursday 18 January 2018

Blues can make amends: John

Dual star says Dubs will relish meeting Leesiders

JOHN THOMPSON hurled with the Dubs for over ten years. Fond memories of Jimmy Boggan.

John's Dad, Christy, looked after Parnell Park for years. John would open help after school.

"There were lovely people down there. Jim King was a real gentleman."

John prospered at O'Toole's. He loves the Larriers.

"It's like a village team. So many relations. That would be normal down the country, but it's unusual in Dublin."

It's the friendship that matters most.

"It's a different game today. A long way from your couple of laps and a few sprints to the 14 line," he smiles.

He looks at the modern Dubs and commends their physicality.

"They are a smashing team. They are so big and powerful. They'd be a match for anyone."

Even Cork.

John says that Nowlan Park this Sunday is a blue blessing

"Cork were superb the last night in Cork Park. They hit 34 points. They couldn't do anything wrong. But days like that are rare.

"This is a chance for Dublin to make amends. They'll be keen to show that it was a once-off.

"They'll be up against it. Cork are a top side. But whoever wins, the margin will be much closer than the previous clash."

For John, there's no sweeter sound than the clash of the ash, although he also played senior football for Dublin for two years.

He served as a selector under Michael O'Grady. "They were brilliant days. We made a bit of a breakthrough, but we could have gone further.

"We had a terrific squad, some smashing hurlers. They worked hard. For fitness and skill, we were as good as any of them.

"I think the difference today is that these lads have beaten the likes of Kilkenny and Wexford at minor and U21 level. That instils confidence. Maybe we just lacked that bit of belief that those wins give you."

He's impressed with Ger Cunningham. "He's settled in well. The side made a fabulous recovery from that Cork defeat. They look stronger now.

"It's great to be getting these quality matches at this time of the year, and, hopefully, we'll get another one.

"Challenge matches are not the same. You use a lot of players and you don't get a settled team.

"You just can't beat competitive games. They keep you sharp."

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