FORMER Dublin star Johnny Magee feels Pat Gilroy was bound to find a starting spot for his Kilmacud Crokes team-mate, Cian O’Sullivan for Sunday's showdown with Meath.
Magee, who won an All-Ireland club title alongside O’Sullivan in 2009, reckons his pace sets him aside as a nailed-on selection against a Meath team possessing newfound and considerable pace along their |half-forward line, a facet to his game which Magee insists can: “get you out of dodgy situations as a defender.”
“Not all of us have been blessed with pace the way Cian has,” Magee told the Herald. “And for him to be able to get a cover in if a fella gets slipped, Cian has the pace to get back.
“As well as that, Cian has the pace to get forward. It just gives you that confidence that if it comes that ball slips over the top, Cian has the pace to cover off the angle and get you out of danger.”
Despite the fact that O’Sullivan’s Dublin displays in 2012 have been restricted to a couple of league appearances and bench duties in their two Leinster matches thus far, Magee stressed that his Crokes colleague is “a natural” and like last year, when he was thrust into start action against Tyrone after missing Dublin’s entire provincial campaign, he will have no problems slipping straight back into the team on Sunday.
“Cian is a huge attribute to Dublin,” he praised. “You saw what he did last year. He’s been struggling with injury on and off. But when he’s right, he’s very good for Dublin.
“When he came in against Tyrone, you didn’t even realise he’d been out for a few months. He just slotted in. I was concerned. For normal footballers, it takes them a few games to get back to the pace of it, especially in Croke Park. It’s a very unforgiving place when you've been away injured but Cian just slotted straight back in.”