Tuesday 21 January 2020

'Diarmuid and I agreed that what was best was that he would take a rest' - Jim Gavin on Connolly absence

Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Diarmuid Connolly
Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Diarmuid Connolly
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Jim Gavin has confirmed that he and Diarmuid Connolly agreed that it would be best for the star forward to "take a rest" from inter county football.

The five-time All Ireland winner was absent from the Dublin squad once again in Sunday's League final win over Galway.

Gavin previously stated that he was resting Connolly.

Gavin addressed the issue after Dublin's 0-18 to 0-14 victory over Galway at Croke Park and stated he is hopeful Connolly will make a comeback for the Championship.

"His status at the moment is that both Diarmuid and I agreed that what was best was that he would take a rest over these games," said Gavin.

"He has had a long number of years playing senior inter-county football, as have a lot of this group, so that decision was made in his best interests."

Will Connolly be back for the championship?

"Please God," replied his manager.

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Discussing how Dublin had figured out a way to beat their latest challengers for big honours took Gavin into far more comfortable territory, especially when reflecting on the final 20 minutes.

"We controlled the game, we played it on our terms, which is what we try to do in all our games. Defensively we were very solid to limit Galway to six scores in the second half, especially after the wind picked up," he said.

The win took Dublin's league haul to 13 points and while Gavin had lots of reasons to be pleased with how that was achieved, he doesn't see it having any great impact later on.

"Does it have any relevance to the championship? Not really," he said.

Walsh, however, is hopeful that the experience will nourish Galway's summer bid.

"It can only stand you in good stead going into the championship," he said.

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