The 1st of September is fast approaching and preparations for the All-Ireland football final are gathering pace. 

History beckons for Dublin if they can achieve the five-in-a-row. Kerry were so close to achieving that milestone on a wet September Sunday some 37 years ago.

Seamus Darby made himself a hero after the late Eugene McGee called him into action to try and get a goal that would spoil the Kingdom party. 

Contrasting emotions at the final whistle after Darby delivered in spades. Kerry were shell-shocked. For them, it wasn't meant to end this way.

Eight days out from this year's decider and who knows what drama will unfold?

Leaving their meeting in the 2015 final aside, Kerry and Dublin have a history of producing thrills and spills on the biggest days ever since Mick O'Dwyer's 'young bucks' upset Heffo's men in 1975. The culchies had got one up on the city slickers. The GAA now had its own El Clasico.

Dublin are the favourites to get the job done in 2019. If any team can take them down, surely you would say it is Kerry on the basis that their attack is every bit as good as the Dubs. But that's only part of the mix that will decide where Sam will be heading.

Kerry's Darren O'Sullivan passes to Michael McCarthy during the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin

It's ten years since the Green and Gold last won a championship match against the boys in blue. In the four championship matches between them since, Dublin always had enough when it counted to keep their Munster rivals at arm's length.

The Dubs, it's fair to say, have been more productive in successfully adding pieces to make their squad stronger since 2011.

As for Kerry, you could say that their 2014 All-Ireland triumph containing a team of experienced heads and some young bucks was one they hadn't expected. Still, it was credit in the bank for then manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice on a day when the Kerry minors also captured the main prize at Croker.

More success at underage level followed and Kerry we were told were "the coming team". And now they are back in a senior final. As underdogs, they will have to bring some sort of 'madness' to the decider. 

At half time in the All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone, Kerry were out of sorts and then Peter Keane sprung Tommy Walsh from the bench. Last November, Keane recalled the Kerins O'Rahilly clubman to the Kingdom fold.

Walsh's aerial prowess made him a star during the league, but a quiet display in the Division 1 decider resigned him to a place on the bench for much of the championship.

There had been a substitute appearance for Walsh in the Super 8s tie with Meath, but the semi-final stage gave him the platform he craved. It was a similar comeback to the one Kieran Donaghy experienced against Mayo in 2014.

Walsh made full use of the opportunity, offering assists for points from David Moran and David Clifford as well as creating space for Stephen O'Brien's decisive goal. 

So will the 6'6'' player start in the final? Will Kerry take the risk in starting a player who hasn't put in that many minutes on the pitch this summer?

Tommy Walsh after the semi-final win over Tyrone 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Saturday Sport, Kevin McStay said he's not sure whether Walsh will get the nod to start against Dublin, adding that Kerry management have a "big, big call" to make.

"Kerry will have to bring something different to the final and starting Walsh is the kind of call would have a bearing on potential match-ups," he said.

"If it happens, you would now have the likes of Paul Geaney and David Clifford feeding off a player with a real threat.

"That opens up endless possibilities.

"I do believe that the gameplans for both Dublin and Kerry have been decided at this stage.

"This weekend is all about rehearsals. My own view, if pushed, is that Walsh will not start."

That said, what a player for Kerry to have in reserve if late, late drama is again to unfold between these two great footballing powers. 

Follow the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Kerry (Sunday, 1 September 3.30pm) via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 or listen to radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.