Tuesday 25 October 2016

Brennan an absentee but Macauley 'ready'

Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30

Dublin football star Michael Darragh MacAuley
Dublin football star Michael Darragh MacAuley

Michael Darragh Macauley insists he is now in the best shape of his career after an injury-hit start to the campaign.

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And the good news kept coming for the Dublin footballers yesterday with Jim Gavin expecting to be able to call on Cian O'Sullivan, Rory O'Carroll and Denis Bastick for the Leinster semi-final clash with Kildare on Sunday week.

Ballyboden midfielder Macauley was confined to a role from the bench in the Dubs' facile win over Longford but has declared himself ready for the Croke Park date with the Lilywhites.

"I had a very difficult league campaign," he said at the launch of Eircom's online platform for GAA supporters. "I just never got it right, to be honest. There was niggle after niggle. Just tiny things. Nothing major at all. And they were hanging around. But I've been completely clear now for the last six to eight weeks. So I'm 100pc clear now.

"I had a small hamstring that kept me out for about 10 days. A calf that went on for too long in February.

"But they're all behind me now. I'm going to just take the positives from it, that I'm fresher than I've ever been. I gave a similar interview in March saying that but I actually wasn't in retrospect.

"I wasn't where I should have been. I'm happy now. I have myself in perfect nick at the moment. As good nick as I've ever been in, to be honest."

Meanwhile, Gavin confirmed that he expects to be without only Ger Brennan for the Kildare clash.

O'Sullivan and O'Carroll sat out the Dubs' championship opener but both are expected to be available this time around. Denis Bastick is also in contention despite injuring an ankle while on club duty with Templeogue/Synge St just over a week ago.

Gavin also left the door open for Paul Mannion to return to the squad. The Kilmacud Crokes ace is expected to return to Ireland in the coming weeks after a stint in North America.

Irish Independent

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