A competitive race for Sam awaits

By Michael McMullan

BRIAN Howard feels the race to lift Sam is more competitive than many think and isn’t reading into Derry’s dip in form.

Speaking at the All-Ireland launch in Glen this week, the Dublin star feels the gap has closed to themselves and Kerry as the perceived main contenders to lift the biggest prize.

“I think they’re (Derry) going to have a massive say in the championship this year,” Howard said, also admitting the Oakleafers were deserving winners in the league final and were the team to beat.

Howard also hailed the performance of Mayo in their draw on Sunday, highlighting the importance of Ciarán Kilkenny’s catch from Stephen Cluxton’s final kick-out to get the ball rolling for Cormac Costello’s equaliser.

“At the start of this year, we lost the first two games, to Monaghan and Mayo and we bounced back and got to the league final, so it’s not plain sailing for anybody,” the Raheny man admitted.

“Look at Donegal, Galway, Armagh…there are so many teams that you wouldn’t be surprised if they win an All-Ireland.

“There’s the narrative that it’s the usual teams that should be winning but you can see how competitive it is now.

“There’s going to be a lot of teams out there that will have a say yet. It’s the quality of players that are out there, how the game has progressed and what’s expected in terms of your physical conditioning.

“All games are going to go right down to the wire and see last day two draws (Dublin v Mayo and Armagh v Galway) in in the last round of the round robin and so it’s exciting time for the GAA in terms of the games coming up.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW