Dublin’s Senior footballers cruised through Leinster again this year to win their sixth title in a row. The meagre challenge the Dubs had to endure was poor to say the least.

And although Dublin won’t know who their opponents will be on Saturday week in Croke Park at 6pm till after this weekends action, teak tough defender Philly McMahon knows it will be a big step up in class from their Leinster exploits.

“We’re going to be playing one of three Division 1 teams that are left and they are teams that definitely have potential and want to win things as well.

“They will be tough teams to prepare for. It’s exciting because that’s what you want. You want to be challenged,” Philly told the Irish Independent.

There lots of talk with the absence of Rory O’Carroll and Jack McCaffrey that the Dublin defence is weaker this year and suspect to the high ball, but the Ballymun Kickhams clubman believes the defence has coped well without their former teammates and is improving with each passing game.

“Every game we play we try to step up anyway. It’s not that we start so low or that our intensity is so low at the beginning of the year. It’s just that as the year goes on we start to become physically better and tactically and technically better as well,” adds Philly.

“We believe we’re doing good enough in defence. Obviously in the Laois game they scored two goals but we were ahead a good bit at that stage.

“It was good, again it was the first game and we learnt from that, we’ve tightened up since that and we’re getting stronger each game and each training session as a defensive unit and that’s from the forwards back.

“We never had a defensive system based around two players – it’s based around the whole team from our forwards back – so it doesn’t change if two players are not there.”