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Gavin won't bend on dual players

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DUBLIN football manager Jim Gavin has quashed suggestions that Ciaran Kilkenny could play both codes for the county.

After the Dubs Stars challenge games in Clondalkin on New Year's Eve, hurling boss Anthony Daly suggested that Kilkenny hadn't ruled out doubling up in 2014.

But Gavin ruled out any dual role for his players, reiterating his stance that combining both games wasn't possible.

"I have said it before – at elite level, I don't think it can be achieved," Gavin said.

"We have always left it to the players to make that decision. We have set our plans as we did last year and it's up to the players to say, yeah, they want some of that or make a different decision."

The Dublin manager said he hadn't talked to Castleknock star Kilkenny, who lined out for the footballers in Clondalkin, about his plans for this season.

"It hasn't been discussed. We've only got the squad together over the last number of days and we are looking forward to the season ahead," said Gavin.

"It's a player's choice if they want to play in whatever code."

Gavin confirmed that Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews, James McCarthy and Dean Rock will all miss the O'Byrne Cup campaign.

There was more positive news regarding Alan Brogan's future prospects with Gavin upbeat that the 2011 Footballer of the Year is making strong progress from the injury that hampered his contribution last year.

"Hopefully, he will be in good shape to join us at some stage in the National League.

"He got some good games with his club. His form is good, but it needs to be brought up to the next level and we'll make that call in the next month or so."

Gavin was pleased with Paul Mannion's contribution on Tuesday.

The Kilmacud Crokes player struck 2-5 from play in a scintillating performance and although college commitments will rule Mannion out of Sunday's O'Byrne Cup clash with Westmeath, Gavin (pictured) was delighted at his return from the hamstring injury that cut short his All-Ireland final.

"It was nice to get a run out and seeing the guys show a bit of heart, and Paul played very well and got a great run of scores.

 

RECOVERED

"He brought some of that form that he showed during the summer. Paul had a very bad hamstring injury, but he is fully recovered and obviously we are really looking forward to getting him back for the National League," he said.

Mannion will return to UCD for the coming weeks, with Dublin's panel weakened to a degree by further absences to the third-level institutions, but Gavin will not concern himself unduly with that.

"We're going to lose eight guys to the colleges, but we have always supported the Sigerson Cup as it's very beneficial from a socialising point of view and is also a very high standard of football," he said.

"Westmeath on Sunday is a great start to the season for us. Travelling to Mullingar and playing a team that just got promoted to Division 1 will be a good test."


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