DUBLIN'S footballers will be packing an extra punch this season after adding former world champion boxer Bernard Dunne to their back-room team.
New manager Jim Gavin, who worked with the former world super-bantamweight champion during his time as county U-21 manager, confirmed yesterday that he has recruited the Neilstown man again to play a motivational role with the players.
Gavin described Dunne as the team's "sports performance and lifestyle coach" and said he will be helping the players to maximise their potential.
"On the football side of it, the tactics, he'd have no involvement," Gavin explained. "But he pops in and out and his role is in helping players to recognise their potential.
"Obviously, Bernard is someone who has achieved at the very highest level of world sport and hopefully that will be of some benefit."
Dunne was among the management team as Gavin's charges secured a two-point victory over the Evening Herald Dubs Stars team in the county's annual New Year's Day challenge.
He is not the only world-class boxer involved with the Dubs as former Olympic champion Michael Carruth is already a masseur with the county's hurlers and was at St Peregrine's ground in Blanchardstown yesterday.
Dublin will be without up to a dozen college players when they play Carlow in the opening round of the O'Byrne Cup on Sunday.
Gavin said he had no problem with the colleges having first option on the players but described the confluence of the third-level championships with the start of the inter-county season as "chaos".
"There's a lot of chaos over the first few months of the year and I think that's something that has to be looked at," he said. "Having so many competitions at this time of year, in terms of player welfare, it wouldn't be the way I'd do business.
"Managing players' fatigue in January and February was always an issue and I have the same issues now," Gavin added.
"Players training for Sigerson, trying to peak at the back end of January and February, are on a completely different training cycle than county players would be.
"I need to be very conscious of the workload that players are putting themselves under.
"I've no problem with colleges' football, I'm a big supporter of it, but in terms of having these competitions running back-to-back with the National League starting in the first week of February, that might not be the best way to do our business."