GALWAY GAA: “The current players aren’t fearful of Dublin” – BLAKE

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28 June 2009; Diarmuid Blake, Galway. GAA Football Connacht Senior Championship Semi-Final, Sligo v Galway, Markievicz Park, Sligo. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Former Galway footballer Diarmuid Blake doesn’t believe Galway have any fear of Dublin ahead of this Sunday’s National Football League Final in Croke Park. 

Blake never suffered defeat to the Metropolitans during his 10-year playing career between 2003 and 2013 and 2013 and its 2001 since Dublin last scored a victory over Galway.

However, the last meeting in Croke Park between the two saw Dublin prevail 0-13 to 1-6 in the 1993 league in a contest that had current managers Jim Gavin and Kevin Walsh involved as players.

And their last meeting in a National Final was in 1983 when Dublin beat Galway 1-10 to 1-8 in an All-Ireland Final that saw four players dismissed.

“The current players aren’t fearful of Dublin and are kind of relishing the chance to play against that blue jersey and in front of Hill 16,” said Blake to Jason Byrne in The Irish Sun.  “They’ll start where they left off (in Pearse Stadium).

“The undercurrent was aggressive and Dublin came out hard for the second half, but ­Galway didn’t back down. They won’t back down on Sunday either.”

That Pearse Stadium clash was their most recent meeting that finish 0-13 apiece two weeks ago.  Referee Joe McQuillan hand out eight yellow cards.  And Dublin selector Jason Sherlock received an eight-week ban for an altercation with Galway’s Barry McHugh.

“You can see that Galway are unified. They are all backing each other up and they seem very tight-knit,” added the Milltown man.  “You don’t hear anything from inside the camp and they don’t seem to be intimidated by anybody.

“Confidence is growing within them and they aren’t nervous on the ball. They are back in Division 1 and they believe they should be where they are.”

Dublin followed that draw by losing to Monaghan in Croke Park last Sunday but many neutrals are preparing for a potential backlash.  Tyrone held the All-Ireland champions to a draw on Jones Road in 2017 only to be blitzed 2-17 to 0-11 when they meet again in the summer.

“For sure there’s a danger and you would wonder what would happen after that and where it would leave them,” concluded Blake.  “You could say we will be beaten out the gate, but I don’t think so. Why change a winning formula?

“This year nobody has really broken us down, we have been very comfortable and our goal hasn’t really been threatened that much at all.”

Galway meet Dublin this Sunday (1st April) in the Allianz National Football League Final.  The game throws-in at 4pm in Croke Park.