Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Sherlock still has buzz to take Dubs forward

Jason Sherlock turned his back on a burgeoning career in soccer to serve the Dublin football side into which he was initially pitchforked as a raw 17-year-old in the mid-90s.

Even when he temporarily turned his back on gaelic football in the interim, Jason found UCD more than willing to avail of his undoubted talents in the eleven-man game.

But when he rediscovered a rich vein of form for club and county, Sherlock, once the golden boy of Dublin football, once again copperfastened a place in the line-up and tonight, although in the veteran stage, he will have a key role against Westmeath in the National Football League Division Two final at Navan (7.00pm).

Even though he is now surrounded by more youthful wannabes in a Dublin side that has followed a steady course to tonight's decider, Sherlock still epitomises the enthusiasm and verve that have marked his lengthy tenure in the metropolitan line-up.

"Obviously a lot of players have come and gone over the years but there is still a great buzz about the side and we are very keen to land the Division Two title, maybe as a prelude to another Leinster championship title," says Sherlock.

But no-one knows better that another provincial accolade will be flat beer for the Dublin fans who have been served up a diet of near misses in terms of potential All Ireland glory in recent years.

It's over a decade since Dublin landed the All Ireland title and manager Paul Caffrey is under strong pressure to end that famine. Sherlock knows all too well the depth of feeling within the county and the passionate yearning to dethrone Kerry from their proud perch.

Maybe a Division Two final in the modest surroundings of Pairc Tailteann is not viewed by many as perhaps the most glamorous of outings.

But tonight's match could well prove a pointer to the future since Caffrey has had to substantially amend his side in the wake of the suspensions handed down following that disgraceful encounter against Meath last weekend.

Westmeath may be without marksman extraordinaire Dessie Dolan but they will still prove a difficult side to overcome.

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