Donegal and Mayo are biggest threats to Dubs, says Kernan

July 11, 2019

Ireland manager Joe Kernan.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Former All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan sees Mayo and Donegal as being the biggest threats to Dublin’s quest for a fifth consecutive Sam Maguire Cup triumph this summer.

The Armagh man reckons both counties will advance past Kerry and Meath out of Group 1 in the Super 8s and sees Sunday’s showdown in Killarney between Mayo and the Kingdom as a huge opener for both teams.

"I would rank it Dublin, Donegal, Mayo and Tyrone in terms of the All-Ireland. If Kerry lose to Mayo next Sunday, they're in trouble,” Kernan told the Irish Independent.

“It's a huge game for them. They got an eye-opener against Cork, who caused their defence all sorts of problems in the Munster final. Can they fix it so quickly? You'd have your doubts.

On Donegal, he added: “There's a lovely balance about them. They have strength, pace and mobility throughout the team, as well as a lot of brilliant individuals. Jamie Brennan has been excellent in attack. They're the sort of team to really test Dublin.

"I'd leave Michael Murphy in the full-forward line all the time. Defenders can't push up when you have him in there because he's capable of winning ball, even with two men on him.

"We saw him do it against the Australians in the International Rules two years ago. They tried to jam all the space around him, but still couldn't manage him. Declan Bonner has a good set-up there. The word is that Stephen Rochford is doing a great coaching job - it was a smart call by Declan to bring him in.”

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