Bastick set to return for Dublin's three-in-a-row bid
Denis Bastick looks set commit to another season with All-Ireland football champions Dublin as they pursue three in a row, defying the expectation that he would walk away after claiming a fourth medal last October.
The hardened Templeogue Synge St clubman, who will be 36 later this year, is currently recovering from ankle surgery and was not part of a pre-League training camp that the champions held last weekend as a different Dublin team, made up of several former All-Ireland U-21 and minor winners, swept to O'Byrne Cup final success over Louth.
Caretaker manager Paul Clarke reckons up to eight players may have made a case for inclusion in the squad, but they are unlikely to be displacing Bastick.
Bastick, who has won all four All-Ireland medals in his 30s, featured sparingly in last year's Championship, although he did replace Paul Flynn at the end of the drawn All-Ireland final.
But his attitude and resilience have great appeal to the management and he will be given every opportunity to make his case when he recuperates.
He won an All-Ireland junior medal with Dublin in 2008 but really only thrived when Pat Gilroy took over and identified him as a midfielder.
Dublin will be without a number of regulars for the opening rounds of the League, with some yet to return to training, while there is speculation over the future of Tomas Brady, who has been involved in all three All-Ireland senior wins under Gavin, having quit the hurlers in 2012.