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There's Something More Basic That Really Drives The Dublin Footballers

There's Something More Basic That Really Drives The Dublin Footballers
Mark Farrelly
By Mark Farrelly
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There's a narrative that has really come to the fore in recent years when it comes to intercounty football: it's a slog. It's a demanding trudge of training sessions, protein shakes and defeat that allows no room for a social life. Sure why would anyone want to do it?

While some players may think of it that way, there is a silent majority who actually love it. Paddy Andrews and Michael Fitzsimons are two players who fit into that category. While it's easy to say 'Oh sure of course they're going to love winning All-Irelands every year,' when you actually listen to the pair describe what motivates them, Sam Maguire doesn't even get a mention.

They just seem to love playing football. Speaking to us on our new 'Champions' podcast brought to you by Subaru, Fitzsimons said "You hear a good bit about lads giving out about it and obviously there's commitment but we do it because we enjoy it. We enjoy playing football."

Yes, it's easier when there's the carrot of an All-Ireland at the end of the stick but while acknowledging that, Andrews spoke of the honour he feels in representing Dublin:

It's a very privileged situation to be in. Obviously with Dublin it's great, we're very passionate about Dublin because we're from there but I'm sure it's the same for guys no matter where they're from...

To be considered to picked for the Dublin team or any county team and the feeling of going out into Croke Park in the summer, and playing in big Championship games. The atmosphere, and the buzz about it, it's a unique situation for those fortunate enough to be able to do that.


Neither Andrews nor Fitzsimons have had an easy path to the success they achieved in recent years. Having originally started out at cornerback for Dublin, Andrews dropped off the panel and missed his county's All-Ireland win in 2011. Yet he managed to forge his way back and become a mainstay in the full forward line.


Meanwhile Michael Fitzsimons' story is completely different to the likes of his clubmate Con O'Callaghan. At minor level he found himself on the Cuala B team before an All-Ireland Junior title in 2008 gave him his first taste of success with Dublin.

After both their respective journeys, you would imagine that, with nine senior All-Ireland medals between them, their appetite would have diminished but it quite clearly has not. Andrews puts it down to the competition for places in the Dublin team:

There's always a challenge for you. You've got to be ready and be on your toes, and if you're not then you simply won't play. That alone is a really strong motivation for you. Whatever about winning championships, the challenge this season is "Can I perform in training? Can I become a better player?" Because if you don't and if you stand still at all then someone else is going to take your place.

Whatever's gone on the past, I mean an All-Ireland two or three years ago, it's just not relevant to the here and now.

You can listen to Episode 1 of the 'Champions' podcast in association with Subaru below.





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