Donegal’s Ryan Bradley and Michael Darragh MacAuley of Dublin during the sides’ All-Ireland football semi-final at Croke Park in August 2011. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Jim McGuinness’s team aren’t just bodies behind the ball – they’re organised, clinical and totally in sync

Armagh and Tyrone players confront each other early on in last weekend’s qualifier clash at Omagh. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Last week was Armagh’s chance to set the tone and bully a team with a load of young lads on it

Cork’s Fintan Goold goes low to collect the ball ahead of Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan in last weekend’s Munster final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

When the euphoria abates, Eamonn Fitzmaurice would have liked a closer game

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton: has helped transform  the goalkeeper’s traditional role  into something much more fundamental to how the team operates. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Goalkeepers used to be the worst footballer in the team but now they’re among the best

Clare’s David Tubridy and Ciaran Russell in action against Kerry goalkeeper Brian Kelly. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kerry and Galway both have a bunch of footballers with potential but that’s all it is so far

Tyrone’s Peter Harte confronts Monaghan’s  Dermot Malone during the Ulster SFC quarter-final at Clones. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The hoodoo factor is real – Kerry had it over Dublin, Tyrone had it over Kerry

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea and Seamus O’Shea lose out to Roscommon’s Cathal Shine in Sunday’s Connacht football championship semi-final at Dr Hyde Park.

I have sympathy for last year’s beaten finalists because there’s nothing worse than playing a team whose year is all about beating(...)

George Hannigan of Tipperary tackles Limerick’s Cian Sheehan during the Munster senior championship quarter-final at Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Inpho.

Seeding the football draw is tough on the players but hurling actually beats them before Cork or Kerry do

Aggression and attitude: Down’s Conor Laverty fends off Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh during their drawn Ulster quarter-final at Celtic 	Park, Derry. Photograph: Inpho

In the hardest provincial championship of all, you need a harder edge regardless of your size

More articles