Keaney back former colleagues to get job done over fierce rivals

by Aaron Dunne

Click on link below to listen to Sports Editor Aaron Dunne’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Conal Keaney

Leinster Senior Football Championship semi-final 

Dublin v Meath, Sunday, 4pm,  – Croke Park, Live RTÉ 

by Aaron Dunne

Meath will ‘have a rattle’ off Dublin in this Sunday’s Leinster semi-final clash between the two bitter old rivals at Croke Park, but Conal Keaney says it is ‘extremely unlikely’ that the Royals will catch his form team-mates. 

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Meath will have a rattle off them,” Keaney told the Dublin Gazette.  

“I think with will relish the chance at getting at Dublin and they might think that Dublin are a bit vulnerable now after their so-called poor performance against Wexford but I don’t think it’ll phase Dublin in the slightest. There are lads there that have never been beaten in a Championship match. That expereince, and everything that goes with that, will stand to them. And i’d be very, very surprised if they do get caught against Meath. Becuase knowing Dublin, and the way they do their homework for each team, they take nothing for granted.

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“There are lads there that have never been beaten in a Championship match. That experience, and everything that goes with that, will stand to them. 

“And I’d be very, very surprised if they do get caught against Meath. Becuase knowing Dublin, and the way they do their homework for each team, they take nothing for granted.”

The loss of goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton to apparent retirement – and more recently defender Eric Lowndes – has left question marks that Dublin might just be vulnerable for the first time in recent memory.

“He’s a massive part of that team, and the success that they’ve had over the years, but are they vulnerable without him? Doesn’t seem to have bothered them so far. 

Conal Keaney, Dublin, appeals for a goal which was subsequently disallowed as Paddy O’Rourke, Meath goalkeeper, holds the ball behind the goal line with Anthony Moyles, behind. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Dublin v Meath, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

“I guess you really won’t find out until later on in the year until they meet maybe a Tyrone or a Kerry or Mayo and that real test comes at them. But look you just wouldn’t know with Meath, they may catch Dublin, but it’s very unlikely.

“I’ve no idea what happened there. I really don’t know what the story is. Obviously everyone comes to an age when they have toretuire. I presume he’s let the squad know, and I presume he’s let Dessie know, and he wants to do it his own way. A lot of poeple are making a lot of noise about it, but I don’t think it’s going to affect the squad.  

“Maybe he just wants to take a break for this year, maybe he has personal issues he wants to sort out, maybe he just wants to get away from it for a while and come back next year. Who knows?”

Conal Keaney scores a subsequently disallowed past Meath goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke in the 2009 Leinster quarter-final as corner-back Anthony Moyles looks on (main); and (inset above) Keaney at the recent relaunch of the 2020 Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Minor Championship finals which are set to be finished from last season

PHOTO – Conal Keaney teams up with Electric Ireland for the 2020 Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Minor Championship Finals 8/7/2021 – ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

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