DCU striving for fourth Sigerson title
THOUGH not quite so bejewelled with county gems as some recent vintages, DCU have nevertheless strode commandingly into tomorrow's Sigerson Cup semi-finals, in search of a fourth title since 2006.
"In fairness, when you have Paul Flynn and Michael Murphy on the same team…it's going to be hard to put together a team that looks as strong," says Conor McHugh, he of All-Ireland U21 final fame and as of three weeks ago, a Dublin senior.
"But we're happy with our team. We have a lot of players from smaller counties who might not be so well known but who are brilliant players.
"Maybe if they were with bigger counties they might have bigger reputations but I know from training with them that they're very good players."
In 2006, DCU's maiden Sigerson win, when they beat Queen's in Parnell Park in the final, Niall Moyna's team was built on the talents of Stephen Cluxton, Bernard Brogan, Bryan Cullen, Conor Mortimer and Seánie Johnston.
Their last win, in 2012, came as no surprise to anyone via a team featuring the likes of Murphy, Flynn, Philly McMahon, Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Colm Begley, Dean Rock, Eoghan O'Gara and Robbie Hennelly.
This year's is slightly less recognisable but in beating a UUJ team featuring (amongst others) Cillian O'Connor, Paddy McBrearty, Rory Beggan, Kieran Hughes and Matty Donnelly by nine points, they proved themselves a useful collective and tomorrow, take on UCD in the Mardyke for a spot in the final.
"They have an excellent team," says McHugh, who will face off against Dublin team-mates Jack McCaffrey, David Byrne, Robbie McDaid and Conor Mullally.
"I suppose there is a bit of a rivalry. Again, you have lads from different counties playing too. But there always is going to be a bit of a rivalry. I saw them against Athlone and (McCaffrey) was brilliant. When he came on against Donegal he was excellent. He's in form so we're going to have to watch him closely."