Dublin legend John O'Leary feels the Boys in Blue are well equipped to win the All Ireland final without Diarmuid Connolly.
The Dubliner showed his class overnight on Sunday as he kicked 12 points for Donegal Boston as the team landed the Boston Senior Championship title.
The two-time All-Star was instrumental in their 0-17 points to 1-12 victory over Wolfe Tones. Connolly called quits on his inter county career when he departed the Dublin panel in the spring.
His season last year was decimated by a 12 week suspension for ‘minor physical interference’ with linesman Ciaran Branagan in the Leinster SFC quarter-final win over Carlow earlier in the summer
He returned for the win over Tyrone but made only a fleeting cameo at the semi-final stage. Manager Jim Gavin kept faith with the starting XV for the showdown with Mayo meaning Connolly was forced to be among the subs again.
The 31-year-old came off the bench and played a key role in helping Dublin lift Sam Maguire after beating Mayo in the All Ireland final. The Boys in Blue edged it by a single score after Dean Rock kicked a free in stoppage time that was won by the former St Vincent’s clubman.
Legendary 'keeper John O'Leary feels they've fared fine in the forward's absence and doesn’t feel they will need him to get out of jail this time around:
“I don’t think so at the moment, again if the result goes against us you might say ‘oh Diarmuid should’ve been there, why wasn’t he there?’ people go down that avenue.
“You talk about the squad and how good it is and then we revert to a conversation about how good Diarmud Connolly is, I think the result will dictate that debate I think they’ve got back to the All Ireland final without him, it’s sad that he’s not around because he’s been great for Dublin the last couple of years.
“The team is bigger than one individual, Bernard Brogan has not even been a bit player this year and we’ve managed to plow on and get to the same stage back again to the All Ireland final, will he play apart? Who knows, they’re interesting debates for the kitchen table or barstool come November or December.”
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