The Hill 16 end of Croke Park will be a sea of blue with the festivities and chanting kicking off as early as possible. The Hill has had certainly something to shout about in the last decade with Dublin not only experiencing trophy after trophy success, but performances that has pushed GAA high into a professional bracket. The Dubs are the team that everyone loves to hate, but what has made them so good.
Dublin GAA has invested heavily in youth in the last 10 years. Every club in Dublin now has a 5 year plan for all age groups with the one objective, producing a viable senior club team. This development within clubs is the reason that we have seen Dublin field under 21 players for Senior games, and they look just at home. Other counties feel with Dublin's big pick, the county should be split underage. Dublin waited 16 years for an All Ireland title, they're only beginning to do things right and therefore, its an unfair request.
Dublin GAA has become a very professional outfit with other counties following their trail. Big money sponsorship's with Vodafone and Adidas sees the Dublin County board enjoying a high income to match that of their very high outgoings. The players are all pampered and treated in the highest and most professional way with regards to injury rehabilitation. Also the fact that Dublin GAA clubs are implementing 5 year plans at various age groups as well as the County boards strategic plan shows they mean business.
Dublin have had the pick of the countries managers. But none have come close to emulating the great Kevin Heffernan. Pat Gilroy was the All Ireland winning manager in 2011 and retired in 2012. In came Jim Gavin. Jim Gavin is regarded as one of the most intelligent and tactical minded managers of the modern game. He has a backroom staff of over 15 people and he runs a tight ship. His training regime means Dublin players that start don't tire till they hit 70 minutes along with a host of influential subs that allow Dublin to finish strong as displayed in the Semi Final against Kerry.
Probably the biggest influence in Dublin Football and Hurling (of recent times). The Hill 16 and the Nally Terrace holds 13000 screaming passionate Dublin fans. When any player from opposition steps up to take a free it can go either one of two ways, The Hill will be silenced or the Hill will ruin that players confidence with jeering and cheering. The Hill 16 has become one of the most popular spectacles in GAA. The Dubs will light up Croke Park with its various chants this Sunday to try and shake Mayo's nerves.
Only 2 days remain until the All Ireland Senior Football Final and the Hill 16 Boys will certainly be getting into gear. Yes, most of the country are against Dublin, but the displays they've put on throughout the year are that exciting, the Hill wont be begrudged a song until 6 o'clock Sunday, or even after.