Earley: Dubs Leinster dominance will continue
DERMOT EARLEY says - mournfully - that he can't envisage any team in Leinster challenging Dublin for the Delaney Cup within "the next three or four years," and has backed Jim Gavin's team to win this year's All-Ireland.
Earley, a Leinster winner with Kildare in 1998 and 2000, says the current strength of football in the capital at all levels and the paucity of quality elsewhere in the province will combine to see Dublin extend their run of nine of the past ten Leinster titles.
"To be honest, Dublin are just so far ahead of the rest. I saw them against Donegal there and the scary thing is that they have so many players still to come in.
"And then they have all these young lads who are performing and performing so well.
"That's just going to build such competition within the squad that … certainly, I don't think anyone is going to challenge them in Leinster.
"I just can't see it. And they would be my favourites for the All-Ireland."
Presently, Dublin are the only Leinster county competing in Division 1 of the NFL and are the sole team from the province to contest an All-Ireland SFC final since 2001.
Earley warned, however, that Dublin would inevitably hit a less success patch.
"You can be lucky enough to get a golden generation and in fairness, Dublin do have a golden generation at the moment," he insisted.
"And that's not going to last either. They have some of the best footballers in the country. It will level off at some stage.
"But for the next three or four years, I can't see it," Earley concluded.
"I can only see Dublin in front."