WHEN Anthony Daly looks to the bench to survey his options against Tipperary on Sunday, there’ll be a handful of his front-liners looking on helplessly.
Dublin’s achievement in securing their best season in decades is all the more impressive given the cruciate knee ligament injuries sustained by Tomas Brady, Stephen Hiney and Conal Keaney.
Cuala defender Oisin Gough, an ever-present last season, also misses this weekend with a broken hand, while Joey Boland, David Treacy, Ryan O’Dwyer and Ruairi Trainor have all missed varying parts of the season through injury.
However, Brady (pictured) has insisted that Dublin will not offer their spate of injuries as an excuse should they be beaten on Sunday.
“We made a vow at the start of the year that we’d have no excuses,” says the Na Fianna club man.
“It’s worked well for us and anyone who has come in has done exceptionally well. Lads who have lost form and gone out of the team have worked twice as hard and got back in to play well.
“Looking at Cork (football), people were saying that (they lost to Mayo) because of their injuries. But Graham Canty was injured last year and maybe one or two more and they won the All-Ireland.
“If they didn’t have those injuries people would have said that they were complacent against Mayo. It can be an excuse if you let it be, but I don’t think this team will let it be.”
After winning a first hurling league title since 1939 and securing a first All-Ireland semi-final appearance in 63 years, Brady acknowledged that Dublin are in “bonus territory” in most people’s eyes.
“From the outside looking in, people probably think that this is bonus territory for Dublin,” he explains.
“All the pressure is on Tipperary and not much is expected of us, but that gives us the freedom to go out and play with abandon.
“We’ve a lot more experience in Croke Park than Tipperary do this year and this team love playing in Croke Park, with our speed and that. We definitely feel that we’re in with a chance.”