An expected defeat but James Horan sheds optimistic light on Kildare

He and Billy Joe Padden analysed the action from the weekend on Off The Ball

Kildare, GAA,

The Kildare team dejected after the game ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The Leinster Football Final went more or less as expected as an imperious Dublin won with plenty to spare.

That victory on Sunday makes it seven Leinster titles in a row for the reigning All Ireland champions.

Kildare were the runners-up this time, falling short by a nine point margin thanks to a late goal to prevent a double digits points gap.

But ex-Mayo boss James Horan and former Mayo footballer Billy Joe Padden sounded notes of optimism about Cian O'Neill's squad with an eye to the future as they joined Off The Ball to analyse the weekend's action.

Ultimately the clash against the Dubs came far too soon in Kildare's development according to Billy Joe Padden, with the county having been absent from Division 1 of the Allianz League since relegation of 2014.

"They need to spend a considerable amount of time in Division 1 where they play Dublin every year early in the year and they can measure themselves against them in a less pressured situation in a league game before they can go out and challenge for a Leinster title," he said.

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And while targets beyond overcoming the Dubs has to be the realistic aim for Kildare and the other Leinster counties, Horan feels the Lilywhites and their manager deserve recognition.

"I think Cian O'Neill deserves credit and Kildare deserve credit. I think they're trying to play a progressive style of football that in two or three years time, if they stick with it, they'll really compete with the Dubs," he said.

"If you look at any other team from Leinster that's set up defensively against Dublin, they were no way ever going to win the game. Kildare scored 1-17. They set up to play a game where they'd get enough scores to try and beat Dublin."   

He added that Kildare's brand of football bears some similarity to Dublin's except that "they're not as good at it or as effective or have the understanding of it that Dublin have". 

Tyrone also retained their Ulster crown with a comfortable victory over Down and Horan and Padden analysed that fixture as well as the criticism aimed at referees which you can listen to in full on the podcast.

And if you're looking for Dave McIntrye's chat with Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, you'll find it right here