Monday 29 December 2014

GAELIC GAMES

Published 27/02/2013 | 04:00

Ciaran Kilkenny is poised to make his league debut for Dublin on Saturday after returning to senior training for the first time last night.

Kilkenny has concentrated on his club duties with Castleknock and Dublin's Leinster U-21 campaign since abandoning his AFL career with Hawthorn last month.

But he linked up with the Dublin senior footballers last night and has declared his availability for Saturday night's Division 1 league match against Mayo in Croke Park. Kilkenny has started only one senior match for Dublin before, against Mayo in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat last September when he scored three points.

Dublin may still decide to hold him in reserve, but with Diarmuid Connolly injured it may represent an opportunity to give him further exposure at this level.

"I think I could be available for selection. This is my first pitch session but I have been with them in the gym," Kilkenny said ahead of last night's training spin.

He added that it is still very likely that he will play with the Dublin hurlers at some stage of the future and insisted that it was his own decision to concentrate on senior football in addition to his club and U-21 duties in both codes.

"I don't know what's around the corner. I love hurling and I love football so it could be potentially both if I get picked," Kilkenny said.

He reiterated his reasons for remaining in Ireland, cutting short his AFL odyssey after just six weeks, saying he was "raised to win All-Ireland titles", not Grand Finals in Australia.

see pages 68-69

Irish Independent

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