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Many of the current Dublin senior team have played under Dessie Farrell at under-age level

Many of the current Dublin senior team have played under Dessie Farrell at under-age level

SPORTSFILE

(l-r) John Small, Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello – celebrating last year’s win – all played under-age football under Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

(l-r) John Small, Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello – celebrating last year’s win – all played under-age football under Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

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Many of the current Dublin senior team have played under Dessie Farrell at under-age level

Dessie Farrell expects Dublin to make history tomorrow and this, he reckons, will end all arguments about the identity of the greatest football team ever.

The former Sky Blues' captain and erstwhile minor and U21 manager, is equally convinced that successful completion of the Drive for Five will only exacerbate another long-running argument - the alleged role of Croke Park funding in creating the chasm between Dublin and all the rest.

"Five-in-a-row hasn't been done before so they'd have to be considered the greatest," says Farrell.

And the money argument? Victory tomorrow "will undoubtedly add fuel to that particular raging fire," he accepts.

"Look, there's a lot been said on that as well. But if it was as simple as resources, the Dublin hurlers would be contending for All-Irelands on a more regular basis."

In that scenario, Farrell contends, the Dublin U20s "would be winning" too - since the age grade switch from U21, they have lost the 2018 Leinster final to Kildare and this year's All-Ireland decider against Cork.

"The Dublin minor football team have only won one All-Ireland in 35 years or whatever," he adds.

"So, it's not purely down to resources and it's not purely down to population either.

Golden

"I think it has to be acknowledged that a great crop of players have come together at this time, which has proven to be a golden era for Dublin football all right.

"But it's naive to simplify it down to resources."

Farrell has long been touted as the most likely and qualified successor to Jim Gavin - if the current boss ever feels it's time to step aside.

But while he has been watching this current generation shred myriad records in recent seasons, the Na Fianna man could be forgiven if he ever felt tempted to bask in their senior achievements.

After all, the former GPA chief executive has managed most of this team to underage success with Dublin.

From the 15 that started against Mayo at the semi-final stage three weeks ago, David Byrne, Jack McCaffrey, John Small, Brian Fenton, Niall Scully, Con O'Callaghan, Brian Howard, Paul Mannion and Ciarán Kilkenny have either won All-Ireland minor or U21 medals (or both) under Farrrell's command.

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Two of the subs who appeared that day - Cormac Costello and Eoin Murchan - also enjoyed All-Ireland success on his watch.

"Ah look it, they were great lads and it was a great time for us. We'd know some of them very, very well, having worked with them from U13 up to minor and then, as you go, more and more fellas are coming in," he says.

"I think for the likes of Philip McElwee and Mick Galvin and Nipper (Alan McNally) and Cathal Ó Torna, we always take great pride in the fact that I think 11 of the team that played the last day were involved in our set-ups and squads.

"So, it was a privilege for us in many ways. They were great lads and always showed that hunger and desire and ambition, and we're fortunate to have had that privilege to work with them."