Brian Fenton’s Unwavering Impact as Dublin’s Cornerstone Player


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In his first real test as Dublin Manager, Dessie Farrell’s League opener against Kerry in Croke Park (2020) showcased the team’s reliance on one key player. The game ended in a 1-19 apiece, with Brian Fenton standing out among the Dublin players.

Fenton began the game in midfield and delivered an impressive performance, contributing four points from play.

This match marked the beginning of an exceptional run for Dublin under Farrell’s leadership.

A Sequence of Remarkable Events

The team has played a total of 51 games, with Fenton featuring prominently, missing out on only 16 minutes.

Despite experimenting with various lineups in the League, Farrell has kept Fenton as a constant presence due to his exceptional abilities.

Some argue that Fenton should have been named Footballer of the Year for 2023, thanks to his consistent brilliance throughout the Championship. His influence was most evident during the knockout stages.

The All-Ireland final saw David Clifford, an exceptional player for Kerry and winner of the Footballer of the Year 2023 prize, unable to deliver his finest effort.

Despite not receiving the award, Fenton was instrumental in Dublin’s victory. In the decisive All-Ireland final, Fenton made 31 plays. In such a high-stakes game, those numbers are substantial.

When the outcome of the game was uncertain during the second half, it was Fenton who delivered a crucial score for Dublin, leveling the match. Then, he stepped up again, kicking the point that put them ahead. Following Mannion’s equalizing goal, the next eight minutes saw no scores. It was evident that someone needed to seize control of the All-Ireland final.

This impressive figure highlights his importance in high-stakes situations. He stepped up when it mattered most, creating a crucial equalizing score and securing the lead with a well-placed point.

His extraordinary performances demonstrate why Dublin has relied on him since Farrell took over as Manager.

What’s in Store for Dublin and Fenton?

As Dublin faces a challenging League campaign, Fenton’s continued impact will be vital to their success. The two-time Footballer of the Year winner played every minute during Dublin’s six-in-a-row run and remains an indispensable part of the team.

In the recent Mayo encounter, although not at his best, his presence was still felt as the game approached its climax.

Dublin’s past success and current challenges hinge on Fenton’s unwavering influence. The team is expected to easily secure another Leinster title, but their performance in the All-Ireland series remains uncertain. Gaining momentum in the League would offer a clearer assessment of their progress.

Dublin finds themselves in a challenging situation being without points after two games, which intensifies the pressure. While some may downplay the significance of relegation, citing their quick rebound from a similar situation two years ago, followed by an All-Ireland victory, it’s important to note that such instances are rare exceptions. Teams in Division Two seldom clinch major titles like the All-Ireland.

It remains unclear how extensively they’ve engaged in training sessions leading up to this point. This ambiguity raises questions about their preparation strategy and overall readiness. One possible explanation could be a deliberate tactic to conserve energy, focusing on peak performance when it matters most—during the Championship.

Their upcoming match against Roscommon at Croke Park should be a straightforward win, but the following game against Kerry will provide better insight into Dublin’s form.

As they navigate through a transitional period, replacing some of their legendary players, Fenton will leave a significant void when he eventually retires.

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