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Dublin senior footballer Diarmuid Connolly, in Croke Park, Dublin, at the launch of the Beko Club Bua award scheme.
Dublin senior footballer Diarmuid Connolly, in Croke Park, Dublin, at the launch of the Beko Club Bua award scheme.

Diarmuid Connolly: 'It was a rush of blood'


By John Harrington

Diarmuid Connolly has described his back-card in Dublin’s Allianz Football League Final defeat to Kerry as “a little bit of a rush of blood”.

Connolly was black-carded after 30 minutes of the match for needlessly pulling Kerry’s Gavin Crowley to the ground in an off the ball incident.

He admits watching the rest of the match from the dug-out was frustrating, but has no argument with the decision by referee Paddy Neilan to send him to the line.

“Of course, you're frustrated. I've looked back at the game and I've no arguments about it.

“It was a black card under the letter of the law so you have to suck it up, learn, and move on. That's all you can do.

“I felt like in the game I started well and I was moving well. A little bit of a rush of blood under the Cusack Stand curtailed me just before half-time.

“Yeah, looking on, it wasn't easy, it wasn't easy to do that, but these things happen.”

Connolly was also back-carded in Dublin’s League win this year over Monaghan and for his club St. Vincent’s in their Leinster championship match against Palatine last November.

Diarmuid Connolly reacts to his black-card in the Allianz Football League Final against Kerry.
Diarmuid Connolly reacts to his black-card in the Allianz Football League Final against Kerry.

He has also been red-carded in high profile matches like last year’s All-Ireland Quarter-Final against Donegal, the 2015 drawn All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo (he was subsequently cleared to play in the replay by the Disputes Resolution Authority) and the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final against Donegal.

But despite that chequered disciplinary record, Connolly doesn’t think he needs to change how he plays the game.

“No, I don't think so, no. I don't think I'm a cynical player by nature. A lot of my strengths are going forward and attacking and stuff like that.

“Obviously defending is part of the game as well...yeah, of course it was frustrating to get that black card, but you just have to learn and move on.

“We've a couple of games coming up now in the club championship and I just want to prepare well for them and hopefully stay on the field for them and then we'll roll into the Championship with the Dublin team.”

The League ended on a sour note for Dublin collectively and Connolly as an individual, but he says that’s only made him more determined to put his best foot forward in the championship this year.

“Absolutely yeah. You want to try get the best out of yourself. I'm already being written off, I'm 30 this summer. You want to add a little bit to your game year on year, game on game.

“You want to try and be the best player you can be on the field and try add as much as you can to the team. I'm looking forward to it.”

***

Dublin senior footballer Diarmuid Connolly was speaking at the launch of the Beko Club Bua award scheme, a new club accreditation and health check system co-ordinated by Leinster GAA for clubs in the province. For more information visit Leinstergaa.ie.

 

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