Mick Fitzsimons believes Dublin should enter a team in the Junior All Ireland Football Championship.
The competition is played for the benefit of players who have yet to make the senior grade. The Cuala club man was involved in the last Dublin team to win the competition in 2008.
Kerry have won the competition for the last two years. He feels the county could benefit from having a team in it:
“They don’t do it anymore, Dublin don’t enter it. It was a collection of intermediate players, it was great.
“We went out and did trials in Parnell Park with Mick Deegan, Jack Sheedy and Mick Galvin. There was a big deal made about it, it was a step up in level and a chance to represent Dublin which I didn’t think I would, but I got a chance to do it.
“It was incredible then to go on and win an All Ireland, it was huge playing down in Laois and a great crowd, and a great occasion.”
The U21 All Ireland Championship is being revamped, the competition's current iteration ended with Dublin defeating Galway in the 2017 final.
From next year the age grade changes to U20, Fitzsimons feels a team for players over the age of 20 but not ready for the senior step up would benefit all concerned:
“I really enjoyed it, with the U21 getting dropped down to U20’s it could be used that way. I thought it was great but it just requires a bit of hard work.
“The lads really put a lot of energy in it; they took it seriously and really got behind it. We got a huge amount out of it, Denis Bastick and Eoghan O’Gara and we got to play in Croke Park twice as well, it was incredible.
“They organised it we played two games there before Dublin played, that was a huge bonus and we got a huge amount of players out of it and great experience”
Fitzsimons was in Bluebell Community Centre today at the AIG Heroes event. The AIG Heroes initiative is part of the insurance company's community engagement programme and is designed to give support to local communities by leveraging their sporting sponsorships to provide positive role models and build confidence for young people.
More information at www.aig.ie.