Mayo have the char­ac­ter and the hunger, but Alan Bro­gan be­lieves that Dublin’s bench might just give them the edge

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

EVERY All-Ire­land fi­nal is spe­cial in its own way, but who­ever wins to­day will cre­ate a mo­ment in time that will live long in the mem­o­ries of play­ers and sup­port­ers and will also en­ter the an­nals of his­tory. Any way we dress it up, it is a game of epic pro­por­tions.

Dublin have the chance to cre­ate his­tory and com­plete three-in-a-row for the first time since Kerry in 1986. Dublin’s one and only three-in-arow was 1921-’23. Foot­ball be­came so com­pet­i­tive in the mid-noughties that peo­ple thought a team could never dom­i­nate again in the way Jim Gavin’s side have in the last num­ber of years.

Mayo are still chas­ing that elu­sive All-Ire­land, last won in 1951. With eight fi­nal de­feats since then Mayo will feel Sam Maguire is long over­due a visit west. Not un­like our­selves in 2011, a win for Mayo to­day would see an enor­mous out­pour­ing of re­lief and emo­tion.

I couldn’t be­grudge Mayo an Al­lIre­land fi­nal win. This team have been to the well so many times, and de­spite painful de­feats and nearmisses have shown the char­ac­ter and re­silience to come back again. But for us Dubs who were starved for so long un­til that break­through in 2011 it’s im­por­tant to make every op­por­tu­nity to win that medal count while you have the chance.

Both sets of play­ers will know the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time presents it­self to­day. Nei­ther team will take a step back and while the game will be tac­ti­cal, the blan­ket de­fences we have seen re­cently will go out the win­dow and the tac­tics of both teams will be to try to take the game to each other.

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