Talent galore in annual show
Clarke spreads the net for Dubs Stars
A sense of anticipation and excitement is building around the Marino area as the day has finally arrived for St Vincent's, who host the annual Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars challenge matches against Dublin this afternoon.
Seeing their local hero Pat Gilroy take charge of the Dublin senior hurlers will be a proud moment for all involved and having the All-Ireland Senior Football Champions on your doorstep will whet the appetite for a wonderful day's entertainment and bonhomie at Páirc Naomh Uinsionn.
First on the agenda at 12.30 is the clash between Dublin's footballers and their Dubs Stars equivalent and Dublin will see this contest as ideal preparation for their impending O'Byrne Cup campaign.
Just like last year, Paul Clarke has assumed control of the panel and despite a number of high-profile absentees, there is more than enough ability and potential at his disposal this afternoon.
Colm Basquel has been flying in training by all accounts and there are some established players involved in the shape of Brian Howard, Emmett Ó Conghaile and Shane Carthy.
Gerry Seaver is rewarded for a wonderful campaign both in Dublin and Leinster with his club Ballyboughal and the North County theme is continued by the presence of Clann Mhuire's Adam Rogers.
Clarke has also incorporated a number of Dublin's All-Ireland Under 21 team from earlier in the year and it will be instructive to witness the progress of the likes of Raheny's Seán McMahon, Glen O'Reilly and Aaron Byrne from Na Fianna and Chris Sallier from Thomas Davis.
The Dubs Stars could well enjoy an advantage in terms of experience and having six St Vincent's players involved and Brian Mullins at the helm will certainly add to their fluency.
Nathan Mullins may have made the tough decision of throwing his hat in with Donegal but the Dubs Stars Footballer of the Year will be hugely keen to make a favourable impression on his home turf and the same will apply to his clubmates in Michael Savage, Craig Wilson et al.
The St Jude's pairing of Mark Sweeney and Niall Coakley will complement the Dubs Stars attack and both Pat Burke and Tomás Quinn will look to feed off Coakley, with Jason Whelan likely to bring power and a scoring threat from centre-forward.
The combination of club players from all over the county is what makes today's encounter such an eagerly anticipated one and irrespective of the result, football will be the winner this afternoon.
Dublin Panel: Andy Bunyan (Scoil Uí Chonaill), Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda's), Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna), Kevin Callaghan (St Brigid's), Shane Carthy (Nh Mearnóg), Ryan Deegan (Thomas Davis), David Devereux (Ballinteer St John's), Colin Doyle (Nh Olaf), Graham Hannigan (Castleknock), Brian Howard (Raheny), Ross McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes), Seán McMahon (Raheny), Eoin O'Brien (Castleknock), Emmett O Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields), Glen O'Reilly (Na Fianna), David Downey (Ballyboughal), Killian O'Gara (Templeogue Synge St), Adam Rogers (Clann Mhuire), Seamie Ryan (St Jude's), Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis), Gerry Seaver (Ballyboughal).
Dubs Stars Panel: Michael Savage (St Vincent's), Craig Wilson (St Vincent's), Jarlath Curley (St Vincent's), Darragh Kennedy (Na Fianna), Carl Keeley (Ballymun Kickhams), Ger Brennan (St Vincent's), Oisín Kelly (Thomas Davis), Aaron Elliott (Ballymun Kickhams), Nathan Mullins (St Vincent's), Mark Sweeney (St Jude's), Jason Whelan (Ballymun Kickhams), Kieran Doherty (St Jude's), Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes), Niall Coakley (St Jude's), Tomás Quinn (St Vincent's), JB Carthy (St Jude's), David McGuinness (St Maur's), Mal Tighe (St Brigid's), Richie Downey (Ballyboughal), Fearghal Duffy (Ballinteer St John's), Eoin O'Connell (Scoil Uí Chonaill), Chris Carthy (St Maur's).