Former Dublin forward Ray Cosgrove has warned Diarmuid Connolly that there’s more provocation on the way in the upcoming games.
The targeting of players is still the main talking point in the media since last weekends action with Connolly once again on the receiving end of ‘special attention’.
Cosgrove has warned the St Vincent’s star will have get plenty more against Kerry and if the Dubs successfully navigate that obstacle, then he will get much of the same if Mayo are the opponents in the All Ireland Final.
The targeting of Connolly has been openly admitted to by Westmeath manager Tom Cribben and last year by Mayo’s Lee Keegan who stated his plan was to antagonise Connolly into a reaction, which he did successfully and Connolly received a red card.
Cosgrove speaking at the launch of Kilmacud Crokes All Ireland sevens said Connolly needs to learn to ‘turn the other cheek’ but knows it’s easier said than done in the White Heat of battle and when he is being constantly targeted.
“I’d prefer to see him have a laugh at a fella and get away and run into a bit of space because I want to see him playing, I want to see him on the pitch, I want to see the magic that he can create. So do 80,000 paying spectators.
Cosgrove also believes that Connolly is not doing himself any favours with referees either by getting involved.
“The referee is going to obviously have to watch it. If he is going to be involved in a couple more incidents, will they say, ‘Oh, it’s Dermo again’. So he’s probably not doing himself any favours in that regard when you are getting involved with fellas and pinning them to the ground.
It’s very easy for anyone not in the middle of the action to say walk away from the provocation, but much harder to do, particularly as a player doesn’t want to let an opponent feel like they can bully them, but Cosgrove believes Diarmuid needs to find a happy medium.
“Yes, that is very difficult when you want to put a marker down and say, ‘listen, I’m not going to be bullied’. You’ve got to get the happy medium.
“I was there, I got a fair bit of treatment. You don’t want to give a fella an inch. If he’s on your case, give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.
“But there’s that happy medium where you say (to an opponent), ‘you know what, you’re going to earn whatever you get off me today’.”