Dublin boss Dessie Farrell left to sweat a raft of injuries ahead of a huge National League away trip to Kerry

Jonny Cooper
Jonny Cooper is one of a number of players on Dublin’s injury list

If Dublin’s loss to Armagh this past Saturday in the National League opener wasn’t added pressure heading to Austin Stack Park this weekend, Kerry’s failure to pick up a win over Kildare yesterday can only shovel extra coal on the fire.

The five point deficit Dublin suffured at Croke Park at the weekend could very well have been more in what many have described as the worst performance by a Dublin side in many years.

Kerry struggled against Kildare in Newbridge yesterday, failing to register a score for the closing 16 minutes of the game. And with home advantage this weekend, Kerry might use the opportunity to capitalise on a struggling Dublin side to pick up their first win of the competition.

There are massive issues in the Dublin camp. And non larger than the absence of a large number of Dessie Farrell’s panel due to injury. Con O’Callaghan, Paddy Small, Colm Basquel, Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Mick Fitzsimons and Robbie McDaid all missed the league opener. Newcomers Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne and Ciaran Archer were also missing from the action.

What’s more worrying is Dublin losing Aaron Byrne and Cormac Costello during Saturday’s game, only adds more concerns for Farrell.

“There are a few of them carrying knocks and niggles and that kind of thing”, Farrell said. “But hopefully we’ll get those tidied up over the next couple of weeks and get a clean bill of health again”.

“We picked up a few there. Which was unfortunate but anyway that is the nature of what we are involved in”.

But when questioned on whether any of the growing list would be ready to line out against Kerry this weekend? “Probably not, no”.

Division 1 is wide open as Dublin head south

Normally a trip to Tralee, or a visit from Kerry to the capital would lift the spirits and game of every Dublin player. But you’d have to believe there are would be serious worries after the weekend’s performance. It could however be the catalyst for Dublin to lift themselves.

“This year’s National League is highly competitive. Any league points accrued will be hard fought and hard won. And that’s where you want to be. It’s great for the game, it’s great for the spectators and supporters and everybody else”.

“For us it’s all about preparation and trying to do the work we need to do with a view to April, May coming around and trying to be in a good position at that point in time.”

“Disappointing we had so many wides, ball dropping short. So definitely the shooting efficiency wasn’t where we want it to be.” Farrell admitted about the weekend’s performance.

“That’s obviously something we’ll take to the practice ground and have a conversation about”.