The Physicality Factor: The challenge of dethroning Dublin

Mike Quirke and Billy Joe Padden discuss what the likes of Mayo and Kerry face

Kerry, Dublin, GAA, Gaelic football

Kerry's Tadhg Morley and Mark Griffin with Ciaran Kilkenny of Dublin ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The clash between Kerry and Dublin last weekend certainly was a physical encounter.

Former Mayo and Armagh footballer Billy Joe Padden and ex-Kerry player Mike Quirke joined Off The Ball to talk about how Mayo and Kerry can close the gap to All Ireland champions Dublin, who are going for three in a row in the championship in 2017 and extended their unbeaten run to 34 games after drawing with the Kingdom in the Allianz Football League in a feisty encounter. 

The lads discussed the physicality factor that can emerge in these fixtures, particularly when it comes to stopping the Dubs and Padden forged a link between last Saturday's match and Mayo's very narrow defeat to Dublin over two games in the 2016 All Ireland finals.

"It's not a great spectacle but it's no different to what the two All Ireland finals were like last year and at times it was man on man, no one backing down, holding on to each other," he said.

"I'd be the first one to say, I don't like to see it. I think there's far too much contact off the ball and maybe it's something we need to look at in the long term in terms of the game.

"But if you're going out there to play Dublin, you've got to stop their runners, you've got to check their runs as often as you can and knock them out of their rhythm."

But he feels it's difficult to rattle Dublin and that they also bring their own physicality. 

Quirke also gave his take on the physicality factor.

"You'd have to probably understand that Kerry are sick to their back teeth of listening to how good Dublin are. That used to be the reversal of the role when everybody was lauding Kerry and Kerry were such a dominant team. These guys have egos and like every other inter-county player they don't want to be listening to Dublin dominating everything in 34 games and beating a record of Kerry's," he said, adding that he did not think it was premeditated from a Kerry perspective but more a "natural kind of thing that comes out in guys when you're bitter, sore and sick of losing to Dublin".

He also added that it's also not like Dublin are shrinking violets in the physical stakes either.