Martin McHugh feels Kerry can win back the All-Ireland after a championship where he hopes the traditional style of catch and kick football can make a return

The Donegalman was in the RTÉ studios for the launch of this season's Sunday Game - ahead of his debut as a panellist on the landmark programme.  

Like everybody else, he is looking forward to the upcoming action, while wishing that coaches and managers could revert to a gameplan that would be for the betterment of football as he sees it.

He explained: "I think much talk this year will be about the style of football that teams adopt. The prevailing approach seems to be about not conceding and keeping things tight.

"As a spectacle, it is not easy on the eye and I think it’s something the GAA need to look at. At the end of the day, people pay good money to hopefully see fare that is entertaining.

"I would like some managers go back to the old traditions – the game of catch and kick. Look at the way Crossmaglen won the club All-Ireland playing that type of game!

"It’s all about taking a chance, and if some counties do, then they won’t be far away. In saying that, I’m not sure whether it will happen this year." 

When asked to name the teams he thinks will take provincial glory and where Sam Maguire will reside next winter, McHugh offers a wry smile, but his definite in his answers.

"I think Mayo will win Connacht. In Ulster, Tyrone can reclaim the title in a province where I think the standard has dropped a bit in the last few years.

"They have the best squad of players, even though they have lost the very promising duo of Kyle Coney and Ronan O’Neill to injury.

"It is very hard to look past Dublin in Leinster. The rest some of their key players got over the winter will do them good. They won’t be too far away come September, either.

"My tip in Munster is Kerry. I think with their aging legs they’ll look to go through the front door. In my opinion, they are still the best team in the country and should have won the All-Ireland last year.

"If they can kep their discipline, particularly the likes of Paul Galvin and Tomás Ó Sé, who are very important to the side, then Kerry should lift Sam."