Dublin’s regular dead ball specialist Dean Rock claims competition for places is stronger than ever

Dean Rock in Championship action last year

Dublin are only days away from their 55th Football Championship encounter with Kildare. And the question on everyone’s lips? Does Gavin’s continues with the starting selection that lined out in their 5-21 to 0-10 demolishing of Louth in the recent last eight clash.

In Portlaoise, Dublin supporters saw first hand the quality of the entire panel. Five individual players stepped up to net goals across the 70 plus minutes of football.

Cormac Costello, Brian Fenton and Con O’Callaghan all had green flags waved. Even substitutes Michael Darragh Macauley and Philly McMahon stepped up to the mark. All eager to impress the back room team and nail a starting position for the summer.

Costello, who’s form is without doubt, the best it’s been in a long time, bagged 1-12. Again, making sure he remains in contention for that deserved starting role.

Rock has high praise for Costello and his team mates

Recovering from injury and hoping to be available this weekend for the provincial Semi Final is Dublin’s regular free taker Dean Rock. Rock has been the mainstay for a number of years now. But admits the competition for positions is as hotly contested as it’s ever been among the ranks.

“Cormac’s been knocking on the door for a long number of years now. And he got his opportunity on Saturday, and performed brilliantly well.” he told DUBSTV towards the end of last week.

“Thats the standard now and everyone has to get up to that standard. It’s going to be an exciting summer and everyone is fit and healthy and ready to go.”

With last years All Ireland success now well and truly behind them, Rock describes the vibe in the camp now as great with the lads working really hard physically and technically over the last number of weeks.

“Look, we got off to a great start against Louth last week. Lots of very good performances and good impact off the bench as well. So the squad is in good rude and just really looking forward to the next game now.”

As an individual, Dean is really hoping to get back to his football this weekend and beyond.

“Yeah all going well I should be back for the next game. Just a little bit of a niggle, but hopefully all going well with recovery and rehab, I should be ready to go the Leinster Semi Final”

Support the reason for success

Described as the mini Hill on tour, Rock, like other panel members in the past praised the blue army for their constant unwavering support.

“The supporters are always a huge reason for our success down through the years. And I know the Dublin supporters love going on the road as much as we, as players, love going down the country and seeing the blue around different stadiums.”

“We’re back in Croke Park the next day, but the Dublin support has been phenomenal over the last number of years, and I know they’ll be phenomenal again in the coming weeks, and hopefully months ahead in the summer”