Monday 20 February 2017

O'Sullivan adamant he will be fit for final

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

Alan Brogan on Dave Coldrick's appointment as referee for the final: 'He is there on merit. The GAA don’t hand out those refereeing positions too easily, so a Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland final has enough in it that it won’t be dominated by a referee or by yellow or black cards'
Alan Brogan on Dave Coldrick's appointment as referee for the final: 'He is there on merit. The GAA don’t hand out those refereeing positions too easily, so a Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland final has enough in it that it won’t be dominated by a referee or by yellow or black cards'

Cian O'Sullivan has told Dublin manager Jim Gavin he is confident about his fitness for the All-Ireland football final clash with Kerry on Sunday week.

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O'Sullivan, a two-time Sam Maguire Cup winner and a key man in defence for the Dubs, is undergoing treatment for a lower back/hamstring problem that requires careful management at the best of times.

The Kilmacud Crokes player had to be assisted off the pitch at the end of Saturday night's Dublin v Mayo semi-final replay.

Dublin boss Gavin revealed yesterday: "This isn't the first time that he's had it, so he's very accustomed to the process and he knows his body quite well, so he's very confident that he can make it.

"If the player is saying that to me, well, I'd be confident as well."

The manager is however, prepared for all eventualities and will not hesitate to leave O'Sullivan out if he fails to take part in training as per team protocols next week.

"The culture that's within that playing group, they would all see themselves as being replaceable," he said.

"So whether a player is not available through injury or other circumstances, our team ethos has always been about the system and about the team, and players can move in and out of that system.

"But there's no doubt that he's a very experienced player and I hope he makes it."

Meanwhile veteran Alan Brogan welcomed the appointment of Meath's Dave Coldrick as referee for the final.

Brogan is not expecting a rash of cards to be shown in the decider.

"The players are aware of the consequences of a black card, and David Coldrick is a good referee," he said.

"He is there on merit. The GAA don't hand out those refereeing positions too easily, so a Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland final has enough in it that it won't be dominated by a referee or by yellow or black cards."

Fans of both sides, and no doubt the officials, would welcome the emphasis being placed on hard but fair play on Sunday week.

Reflecting on that tempestuous drawn semi-final, Brogan commented: "The first day against Mayo both teams were probably a bit over-eager.

"From our point of view there was a bit of apprehension.

"We hadn't really played a game of that intensity since we played Donegal last year, so we were a bit nervous of where we were at.

"There was obviously a huge amount at stake and maybe some of them went overboard a little bit.

"We saw last week when both teams had settled into it, that there was a good clean game of football.

"Even the black card for Seamus O'Shea was maybe a bit harsh - it probably was by the letter of the law, but it looked a bit harsh when I looked back on it."

Brogan (33) has played senior football for Dublin since 2002 and will consider his future after the final.

"It is coming to an end, very, very soon, but I've enjoyed this year more than I thought I would, to be honest," he said.

"I've probably enjoyed training more this year than I had the last few years because I've been injury-free but, look, it's not a decision I've made at the moment."

Irish Independent

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