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Saturday 14 December 2019

Basquels to the fore

Brothers 'should be in with' Dublin

Ryan Basquel of Ballyboden St Enda’s in action against Kevin Carr of Newtown Blues during the AIB Leinster Club SFC quarter-final at Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda. Photo: Sportsfile
Ryan Basquel of Ballyboden St Enda’s in action against Kevin Carr of Newtown Blues during the AIB Leinster Club SFC quarter-final at Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda. Photo: Sportsfile

Sharply indicative of the current depth and variety of quality forwards in Dublin is the fact that Jim Gavin's team completed the last, near-mythical leg of the five-in-a-row without direct input from either Colm or Ryan Basquel.

Clearly, it's not due to a lack of inter-county standard skill-set from either brother.

Or, as Anthony Rainbow outlined after the pair steered Ballyboden St. Enda's to an opening victory in the Leinster club championship in Drogheda last Sunday, any shortfall in the required application.

"When you're trying to quantify the two Basquels, it's not even the stuff on the field that I would talk about," the former Kildare defender outlined.

"It's their leadership off it, the stuff that you don't see. Their prep, their nutrition, their rehab, everything they do, they do to a professional level."

As Rainbow admitted: "It has been a huge bonus for us not to have the two of them involved with Dublin," in what is his second season as manager of the Firhouse club, during which he has remodelled the 2016 All-Ireland winning team after two years in which they failed to win so much as a single Championship match.

He also offered the not unpopular opinion: "They sort of should be in there (with Dublin)."

Against Newtown Blues in a fraught Leinster quarter-final, it was their persistence as much as the Basquels' skills that helped 'Boden negotiate that tricky first exposure to provincial football, just a week on from their Dublin SFC win.

"The amount of touches they got in the game were really above where everybody else was," Rainbow pointed out.

The air in Drogheda was frozen on Sunday. As a consequence, the ball didn't carry any near its normal distance.

And so Ryan missed a couple of frees short that ordinarily, he'd have tapped over with yardage to spare.

Frazzled

In the second half, Colm squandered an unexpected one-on-one with the Newtown Blues goalkeeper at a time when a goal would have buried the gutsy, if limited, Louth champions.

Yet both finished at the same pelt as they started, while everyone around them faded with the November afternoon sun.

Ryan's distribution was measured and thoughtful when the decision-making of everyone else was frazzled. Colm's late goal was a rare moment of artistry on an afternoon of intense industry.

"What Ryan and Colm bring to the panel, there's a huge knock-on effect to that," Rainbow outlined.

"Others look at them and want a piece of it.

"They are a credit to their club and a credit to their family."

Both started one League match this year for Dublin before Ryan fell victim to Jim Gavin's spring cull and Colm decided to spend his summer in Chicago.

Since then, Bernard Brogan, Paul Flynn and Eoghan O'Gara have retired.

And given their respective form and the greater body of evidence, both Basquels will have to demand more involved roles with Dublin next year, the further Ballyboden go into winter football.

"If you look at some of the Dublin players that came back to their clubs or some of the clubs who had a lot of Dublin panel players, they did look a small bit tired," Rainbow pointed out.

"They weren't as fresh as Ryan and Collie.

"So in terms of that it was an advantage for me to have them all year."

"But yeah, they're both great footballers. And just great fellas to have in the team."

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