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Diarmuid Connolly explains why full-strength Dubs are ahead of Kerry in race for Sam Maguire

“Hopefully we see him kick on, have a great season for Dublin and pick up player of the year.”

Kilmacud Crokes star Paul Mannion is back to boost Dublin's chances this year. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Six-time All-Ireland winner and Dublin legend Diarmuid Connolly insists that Dublin are ahead of Kerry In the race for Sam Maguire.

Speaking to Boylesports, Connolly said: “There are a lot of teams that could rival Kerry for the All-Ireland this year. I didn’t see them as that superior last season. They had a one-point victory over a Dublin minus Jack McCaffrey, Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan.

“Did that make a difference? I think it did. David Clifford has had a great couple of seasons and can do no wrong, but it could be Dublin this year for me if they keep a fit squad together.

“Anything Dublin do well goes through Ciarán Kilkenny. He dictates their plays and he’s coming to an age now where he should reach his peak. Hopefully we see him kick on, have a great season for Dublin and pick up player of the year.

On Dublin’s opening League clash with Kildare, Connolly said: “Dublin are in a different space this year, they haven’t played a lot of their main guys and I’d imagine that’s because they’re getting some heavy minutes into the legs to get ready for the National League. Dublin need to get out of Division 2, they have to stay fighting at the top.

“Kildare had a few close results last year and could have stayed up, they are an up-and-coming team now, but I do see Dublin winning comfortably enough.”

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