Dublin GAA: Diarmuid Connolly Interview before Saturday’s Final

St Vincent’s captain, Diarmuid Connolly, is determined to make up for the disappointment of last year at club level when his side take on Castleknock in Saturday’s novel Dublin SFC final in Parnell Park (3.0).

The Vinnies entered last year’s final against Ballyboden St Enda’s as clear favourites but were rocked back on the heels by a powerful opening half by Boden as the southsiders went on to victory in Dublin before then adding the Leinster and All-Ireland crowns.

“I was captain last year and I’m captain again this year. Obviously I was massively disappointed not to be able to go up and lift the cup up for the club and bring it back there,” says Diarmuid.

“It’s been a big target of mine for the last 12 months to get back to where we are and hopefully walk up the steps of Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon and bring that cup (Clery Cup) back to St Vincent’s.”

Castleknock have been the surprise packet in this Championship but are there absolutely on merit having beaten two of the more fancied sides along the way – St Oliver Plunkttett’s/Eoghan Ruadh in the opening round and then St Jude’s in their semi-final.

“Most of the first division teams are fairly on a par at the moment,” adds Diarmuid.

“I said last year when we were here (pre-Championship) that anybody could win the championship.

“Nobody gave Ballyboden a shout last year, they were 5/1 coming in to play us and walked away with it and went on and won the All-Ireland.

“That’s how strong Dublin club football is at the moment. People mightn’t realise that.

“People wrote off Jude’s against Crokes, they went on and they beat them. People were writing off Castleknock against Jude’s, there’s a result there.

“People were writing off us against Ballymun and we got a result as well. It’s unpredictable but very enjoyable at the same time.

“I saw the second half (of Castleknock’s semi-final win over St Jude’s). It was a good game. Castleknock, I thought controlled it around the middle.

“They had a lot of good runners with the ball. Ciarán (Kilkenny) keeps the ball and goes lateral but then they penetrate with runs that can get them through the middle third and then they have the forwards to take on their men inside.”

Saturday’s final promises to be an absorbing encounter.