By Eoghan Cormican
When every aspect is looked at, every nook and cranny exhausted, only then does it become apparent how strong the DCU influence was on Dublin’s All Ireland senior football success.
To the casual sports observer, they will note of Captain Brian Cullen, a PhD student in Exercise Physiology, PE and Biology student Kevin Nolan who picked up the Man of the Match award and Business Management graduate Bernard Brogan who won a Sigerson Cup medal with the College in 2006.
But the DCU imprint runs deeper, with all things considered, the college’s influence is quite staggering.
In all, twelve of the Dublin panel are of DCU fame. Current students include right half back James Mc- Carthy (B.Sc. in Sports Science and Health), left half forward Paul Flynn (B.Sc. in PE and Biology) and substitute Philly McMahon (B.Sc. Education and Training).
Stephen Cluxton is the stand out name from the list of graduates, the man who kept his cool to convert the winning free in stoppage time and in doing so, made history as the first goalkeeper to score an All Ireland winner.
Acknowledging the strong link between the College and the All Ireland champions, the Dublin quartet of Paul Flynn, James Mc- Carthy, Bryan Cullen and coach Mickey Whelan paid a courtesy visit to DCU with the Sam Maguire Cup on Wednesday last.
Over the past number of months, it has been the unrecognised home of Dublin football. Before making the short journey to GAA HQ on the morning of games, DCU was where the Dublin panel gathered ate breakfast and conducted meetings.
It is where they slogged it out most nights of the week, not to mention those early morning sessions last spring, as the St. Clare’s complex was transformed into their permanent training base.
The Northside College was also where every panelist carried out a specific weights programme under the watchful eye of Leinster RFU employee Sammy Dowling.
Elsewhere, the Dublin County Board has confirmed that Leinster Rugby has appointed Dublin’s All- Ireland winning captain Bryan Cullen as one of its new coaches. The Skerries Harps man will begin work with the Leinster academy as strength and conditioning coach in the coming weeks.