THE 21 Salute began last season. Dublin were delighted to be on board. It was Fintan O’Curry who led the Dubs to the new Promised Land.
This year’s Aisling McGing U21 Championship campaign began with a comprehensive win against Louth at Sancta Maria last Sunday. Dublin manager, Gregory McGonigle, is also a fan of the competition.
“It will give inter-county experience to some of other young players,” says Greg as he counts down to Dublin’s date with Kildare in the Leinster Senior Championship.
The Jackies will travel to meet the Lilywhites on June 22nd. “We’ll be ready,” asserts Greg. “Leinster is a tough title to win.”
The time gap doesn’t worry him. “We have three weeks of the club championship which will give the players an edge, and we’ll also hopefully have four or five games in the U21 Championship, so the five weeks or so will pass quickly.”
The lessons of the Cork defeat in the Division 1 League Final have been well absorbed. Gregory can see the big picture.
“At the start of the season, we said to the girls that we’d try and get to the league final and give ourselves a chance of winning it.
“Maybe because it was Dublin’s first league final, there were a few nerves, but our job now is to learn from it. Cork are not league and All-Ireland champions for nothing, but there wasn’t much between us.
“These are still early days. It is a work in progress. The squad work hard. We had a strong representation on the Leinster squad, which is pleasing, so there is a lot of good work going on.
“Dublin are in a strong position. We’ll prepare for Kildare now. And the overall aim is to be there or there-abouts in the All-Ireland series.”