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Monday 17 December 2018

Ger has Dubs stars in eyes

Brennan still leading the way for Vins

St Vincent’s Ger Brennan, who was named at centre-back on the 2017 Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars selection
St Vincent’s Ger Brennan, who was named at centre-back on the 2017 Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars selection

It will prove a short but sweet journey for Ger Brennan this Saturday afternoon (12.30) as he togs out for the Dubs Stars in their annual challenge match against Dublin at his home ground of Páirc Naomh Uinsionn.

Brennan, who won his first Dubs Stars award back in 2006, was an integral part of his club's fourth Dublin Senior Championship title in five years.

Many felt that a more youthful Ballymun Kickhams side would enjoy the edge as the two rivals met in their eagerly-anticipated county final but Vinnies proved the dominant side on the night with their capacity to play to their potential at the optimum time reflecting the maturity and drive of the group.

Exertions

Of course, falling to Rathnew (Wicklow) two weeks later highlighted the lack of certainty in club football as the exertions in defending their county crown ultimately taking its toll.

"Sometimes, the more successful that a team or a player becomes, the bar is raised accordingly and it is about trying to find a bar that motivates you both individually and collectively," said Brennan.

"You always look to improve on the previous year, irrespective of what success you may have had.

"Last year, we lost to Slaughtneil (Derry) in the All-Ireland semi-final and that loss had a big bearing on our preparations and thought processes going into this year's Dublin Senior Football championship.

"Our hopes were to get out of Dublin and to maybe have a good go at Leinster but we probably looked too far ahead of ourselves in the Rathnew match.

"Relatively speaking, we were down a couple of troops from the team that started against Ballymun two weeks previously and some lads were carrying knocks.

"Having said that, I still thought that we had enough quality players to bring in from the panel to take up the slack.

"We managed to create a lot of chances in the early stages of the match against Rathnew but unfortunately, we didn't take them and they were good enough to take advantage. They were dogged and had some good footballers and we really just fell asunder by the end," he added.

Irrespective of the management in place, St Vincent's boast a consistency of selection that is almost unique within the top tier teams in the county.

Brian Mullins may have come in to replace Tommy Conroy as manager but with the rare example of Lorcan Galvin, there was very little change in the team's line-up.

"It is great to see a new guy come in and it was possibly a chance for players who weren't used that much under Tommy Conroy to put their hands up for a starting spot under a new management team.

"It was a chance for them to make a mark and also for the more seasoned and experienced players to let someone of Brian's calibre know how good we are and we were all looking to make a positive impression on him.

"There is a huge element of playing for each other as you don't want to let your team-mate or your friend down. They are not just lads that you play football with but they are friends off the field as well and the last thing you want to do is keep those guys hanging if you're not doing your job correctly on the pitch.

"There is also a strong understanding between the players as a result of this consistency of selection and it can help with the fluency of the team.

"The defence will instinctively know to hang back if someone bombs forward from the half-back line and that can be a huge help to any team," he added.

That understanding will be evident as he lines up with his Vins mates against the Dubs this weekend.

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