Rock’s blank slate

by Dave Donnelly
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GARRISTOWN man Dean Rock insists that past glories count for little as triple All-Ireland winners Dublin look ahead to a fresh season of football.
Jim Gavin’s history-makers opened their league campaign on Saturday with a hard-fought Division 1 win over Kildare.
Rock helped himself to a goal and four points as the Boys in Blue emerged from a hard-fought encounter with a win.
And the 27-year-old, who kicked the winning point in the final against Mayo at Croke Park in August, says the Boys in Blue have started the calendar year with a clean slate.
“I certainly wasn’t thinking about it the other night when I missed my first kick,” he laughs, referring to the free that sealed the three-in-a-row triumph.
“It’s in the history books now. It was a kick that helped us to win an All-Ireland and accomplish our goal that year.
“You take a lot from it and you move into a new year and that’s pretty much it. You use that and hopefully draw on that experience in the future.
“You don’t dwell on those things. You might look back on them when your career is over but now it’s all eyes on 2018.”
It’s a fresh start, too, for last season’s semi-final opponents Tyrone, who Rock feels will have a point to prove as the Dubs make a rare trip to the Red Hand County.
Tyrone failed to do themselves justice in Croke Park last year as the fifteen set up to contain failed to keep a handle on the rampant, Con O’Callaghan-inspired Dubs.
“I’ve never played in Omagh, so a first game up there for me personally is something I’m looking forward to.
“The league games we’ve played with Tyrone over the last couple of years have all been tight and either a draw or a one-point win for us, so I’m expecting a big game.
“We would have been very happy with how we played in that first half of football, but I’m sure Tyrone will have been disappointed with how they played.
“It’s a bit of both – you never played as well as you think you did and you were never as bad as you think you were either. It will completely different at the start of the match on Saturday.”
One thing that won’t be different is the Dubs’ gameplan, which in keeping with Gavin’s philosophy will be focused on outscoring the opposition no matter what.
“Everyone’s got gameplans, everyone’s got structures against different opposition and different teams.
“We like to play football in an attractive way and score as much as we can. We like to play offensive football and attacking football.”

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