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30th Jul 2023

Mick Fitzsimons altercation in pre-match warm-up highlights what a warrior he is

Lee Costello

Mick Fitzsimons

If looks could kill.

Mick Fitzsimons has won his ninth All-Ireland medal, breaking records in the process, but what he did during the warm-up highlights what a warrior he is.

At 34 years of age, and with eight All-Ireland titles already in his back pocket going into today’s final against Kerry, logic would suggest that the defender wasn’t as hungry as he once was.

Like with all successful athletes, they get older, slower, and comfortable in the knowledge that they have achieved everything they can – thus taking a slight sting out of their game.

Well anyone who thought that Fitzsimons would suffer from this was badly mistaken, and you only need to watch the altercation he had with Cormac Costello in the warm-up to see why.

The evergreen back looked like he was ready to kill his teammate as he marked him in a pre-match drill. Costello’s blood was clearly up, and he shoved the veteran in the back, only to get it back in spade fulls.

Fitzsimons chased down the silky shooter, squared up to him, and give him a stare that could kill, before shoving him once more for luck.

If we weren’t so certain that this Dublin team train like they play, and aren’t afraid to get stuck into one another, you could have been fooled into thinking that they were really going to come to blows here.

In the end it turned out to be the prefect preparation as the hardened defender was given the seemingly impossible task of marking David Clifford, and did brilliantly on him.

For the first time in possibly two years, Clifford was second best in this match up, and the classy back was able to contain the most dangerous forward in the game.

Now with the ninth All-Ireland in his pocket, and his name written into the history books alongside James McCarthy and Stephen Cluxton, the Dublin star is the joint-most decorated footballer in history.

Unlike McCarthy, who has hinted that this could be his final year, Fitzsimons has made no implication that he is ready to hang up his boots just yet.

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