Tuesday 20 August 2019

Charlie Redmond: 'Some former Dublin players believe Diarmuid Connolly is only back to keep other forwards on their toes'

Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Charlie Redmond

JIM GAVIN opted against using Diarmuid Connolly against Roscommon – but I remain hopeful that he will see game time this summer.

Some former Dublin players don't believe he will feature in the five-in-a-row charge, that his principal value will be that his presence will keep all the other forwards on their toes.

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Connolly is such a special talent I would love to see him return.

But Dublin's level of performance is so exceptional  that it is terribly difficult to get a foothold in the team.

Dublin and Tyrone have qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals with a game to spare, but I don't envisage Gavin fielding a weakened line-up in Omagh in a fortnight.

Top spot in the group is up for grabs and Jim will not want to go into a semi-final off a defeat.

I thought it was significant that he took off Paul Mannion, Jack McCaffrey and Ciarán Kilkenny, three of what I call Dublin's Big Six, early in the second half.

It suggested to me that thoughts were already turning to that Tyrone game.

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I was very impressed with Con O'Callaghan.

He is rediscovering the young player of the year form of 2017.

His power is exceptional, he terrifies defenders when he runs at them and he might have had two goals.

Dublin blew Roscommon away in the first 15 minutes and have not had a meaningful game this summer, but that is about to change.

Tyrone are building nicely and their impressive comeback against Cork will create additional momentum.

They are strong in the tackle and Cathal McShane gives them another dimension as the spearhead of their attack.

Dublin, though, are the team of a lifetime, one that their supporters should enjoy – because they won't be around forever. However, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon –the five in a row dream moves ever closer.

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