Farrell's focus on new challengers
DUBLIN'S minor footballers begin their preparations for the coming season in earnest with a trip to Wicklow in their opening Leinster MFL clash in Roundwood this Friday (8.0).
Dessie Farrell remains as manager but much of the continuity from last year, when Dublin reached the All-Ireland final, will have been lost with only two starters from that fateful day available for the coming year.
Both Eric Lowndes and Cormac Costello will also have hurling to occupy them given their dual player status, with David Campbell the only remaining member of the panel to have played with any regularity in last year's championship.
Another issue for this current Dublin selection is that unlike last year, when Farrell had mentored that particular panel from U14, this spring will be the first real chance of assessing the talent and quality of the players at his disposal.
The Leinster League should be particularly instructive, with the Wicklow tie and games against Offaly and Westmeath on consecutive weekends as preparations intensify for Dublin's Leinster MFC opener against Carlow on April 14.
Panellists from last year such as Niall Scully and Matias Mac Donncha will hope to use the league to make a favourable impression, with Mac Donncha a vital cog in Coláiste Eoin's run to the Leinster SF 'A' Colleges final.
The Clontarf clubman and Campbell were absent along with four dual players as Dublin drew against Roscommon in a challenge match last Saturday afternoon in Parnell Park (4-10 to 2-16).