Written by Eoin Harte
Cormac Costello’s effectiveness as an impact sub could scupper his chances of cementing his place in Dublin’s starting team.
Speaking on OTB’s Gaelic Football Show, former Meath goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke felt that Costello was unlucky not to be regularly starting for Dublin in the Championship.
"There’s no question that he’s a quality forward, definitely in 31 other counties he’d be starting," O'Rourke stated.
"He’d be a mainstay on the team.
"There’s obviously something else behind it, whether he’s not fitting in to the way Jim Gavin wants to go or is he not doing it on a consistent basis behind closed doors in training.
Costello has been in fine form for Dublin in recent weeks and started in their two opening National League games against Monaghan and Galway.
The Whitehall Colmcille man is also set to start against Kerry this evening, but his fine form in the league won’t necessarily mean he’ll be regularly starting come the Championship in the summer.
"If he was doing what he needed to week in week, out we’d be seeing him week in week out on the pitch," O’Rourke commented.
Costello’s proficiency as an impact player was painfully clear to Mayo fans in the 2016 All Ireland Final replay, coming on with fifteen minutes to go and scoring three points to help the Dubs to a one-point victory over their western rivals.
"He’s fitting into the old Kevin McManamon tag that he’s a super sub," O'Rourke fears.
"Maybe that suits him, maybe that’s just the way the management see it.
"Maybe they want to finish with their best six [forwards] on the pitch at the end of the game in Championship football.
"The first maybe forty minutes is all about just grinding a team down to leave gaps for him to clip four or five points from play."
Dublin face Kerry in the third round of the Allianz League in Austin Stack Park in Tralee at 7pm and will hope to make it two wins in a row after going down to Monaghan in the first round.
The other stand out fixture of the day sees table-toppers Mayo welcome Cavan to MacHale Park, as they look to build on their early impressive form after a disappointing 2018.