| 9.4°C Dublin

Magee: It's all about tactics

DARREN Magee is expecting tactical warfare on Sunday when Pat Gilroy and Kieran McGeeney collide on the Hogan Stand touchline for Dublin's Leinster SFC semi-final with Kildare.

The stricken Kilmacud Crokes midfielder will be an interested spectator as he continues his painstaking recovery from a horrific double leg break and has been largely impressed with both combatants in their championship endeavours thus far.

However, he is predicting that the winner on Sunday will be the manager that implements that secret 'something different' to their team's game plan.

"When Dublin play football, they can score a lot. But it's the same with Kildare," Magee told the Herald.

"But you have to look at it and say 'how do we win this game?' You have to come up with something different.

"If both teams go out and play their natural games without doing something different, it will be too close for comfort -- for both of them.

"As the championship goes on, it comes down to closing out games, whatever way that may be."


In their wins over Wicklow and Meath so far, Kildare have started relatively slowly but over-powered both teams in the second half and should, in truth, have won by much more only for a plague of errant shooting to curtail their scoreboard tallies.

"They can mix it," Magee noted. "Kildare will be as close to All-Ireland pace as Dublin are going to play in Leinster.

"You saw in their first two games there what they do. They just go out and play football.

"In the second half, if the other team are a bit too close for comfort, they just seem to be able to close it out. They grind the other team down and then open up themselves."

However, Magee isn't inclined to buy into the widely-held notion that Sunday's main event is the de facto Leinster final.

Carlow and Wexford's last-four clash precedes the meeting of the Leinster giants and while Magee ranks both Dublin and Kildare at the summit of the provincial rankings, he is wary of writing off Jason Ryan's in-form Slaneysiders.


"I think the two of them, they are more or less on the same level," he said.

"They're the two top teams in Leinster but watching Wexford there against Westmeath, they're to be watched closely.

"They have been very quiet. They hammered Offaly. They're coming underneath the radar very quietly."

Magee, a six-time Leinster medalist, also reckons that which ever side eventually captures the Delaney Cup this year will find themselves in much better stead for a crack at All-Ireland glory than has previously been the case.

"I think Leinster is far more competitive than it has been in the last few years," he stated.

"In Leinster what sometimes happens is a team comes from nowhere, performs for a year or two and then drop completely off the radar. Wexford have finally found their feet.

"I think Leinster is starting to get to where it needs to be.

"The teams coming out of Leinster should be getting to the stage where they're the strongest few teams in the championship."