Tuesday 30 May 2017

Gilroy laughs off Nixon interference claim

Liam Kelly and Colm Keys

DUBLIN manager Pat Gilroy yesterday refuted claims by player agent Ricky Nixon that he had prevented four players from taking part in an Aussie Rules camp on Wednesday.

Cian O'Sullivan, Paddy Andrews, James McCarthy and Rory O'Carroll had all been invited to attend the event at Gormanston.

None of them took up the offer and Nixon, who is scouring the GAA ranks for promising young talent, said he believed that Gilroy played a role in their no-show.

Gilroy was bemused by the suggestion, insisting: "Nobody asked me if they could go to any camp, so I didn't inform anyone they couldn't go.

"I've no problem if a fella wants to go to a camp or a trial. If a fella wants to give that thing a go, it's really none of my business.

"It's the same as if they're going for a job. I couldn't tell a guy not to go for an interview because it didn't suit Dublin.

"I've nothing to do with that man (Nixon). I'm quite glad that he has his business to do and I've my business to do and that's it," added Gilroy.

Nixon last night claimed one of the players had sent him a text and a voicemail saying they had been advised not to show up. However, he described the issue as a "storm in a tea cup".

"I don't want to get hung up about this. I've heard Pat (Gilroy) has given his account and I'll take his word on it.

"But I'd like to make it clear that we won't be bundling any player to the airport and then down to Sydney cloak and dagger style. Everything is above board with us. We won't be taking any player from Ireland at a time when it might disrupt his season. Everything will be done through a process of consultation with the player's family, manager and county."

Nixon said claims that he's going to clean out the best Gaelic footballers in the country are "hysterical". He added: "There are nine Irish lads playing in the AFL now compared to 11 in 1989. We'll be looking at a minimum three of three and a maximum of five this year."

O'Sullivan has been named in the Dublin team to play Mayo in Castlebar on Sunday. Andrews is among the substitutes, while O'Carroll and McCarthy are in the Dublin U-21 squad for the Leinster championship match against Louth tomorrow -- as are Dean Rock, Sean Murray and Darragh Nelson.

With the U-21s out of the reckoning, Gilroy's team shows five changes from that which started against Derry three weeks ago. First-choice goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton returns as Michael Savage is injured and former Ipswich 'keeper Shane Supple steps up from the development squad as cover.

Michael Fitzsimons replaces O'Carroll at full-back, Ger Brennan comes in at left half-back, Paul Flynn at centre-forward and David Henry at right corner-forward. Michael MacAuley, who has impressed at centre-forward, is named at full-forward.

Alan Brogan, Barry Cahill, Darren Daly, Denis Bastick and Tomas Quinn are all in rehab following operations, while Conal Keaney (back), Bryan Cullen (back), Eoghan O'Gara (groin) and Ross O'Carroll (quad strain) are also in sickbay.

Irish Independent

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