Thursday 23 November 2017

Dublin boss Jim Gavin drafts in renowned basketball coach to help beat blanket defences

Mark Ingle has been working with the Dubs as they prepare for their 2015 Championship campaign
Mark Ingle has been working with the Dubs as they prepare for their 2015 Championship campaign Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has drafted in basketball coach Mark Ingle in an attempt to break down blanket defences.

Dublin were defeated in last year's All-Ireland semi-final by Donegal last year after their failure to deal with the Ulster champion's packed rearguard.

There were boos among the crowd on Saturday evening at Croke Park as the Dubs suffered similar difficulties in their turgid 0-8 to 0-4 victory over a dogged Derry side and drew with Tyrone earlier in the league campaign in similar circumstances.

Last weekend's struggle left many questioning whether the boys in blue can deal with a negative approach from their opponents and according to a report in today's Irish Sun, the Dubs have recruited one of Ireland's most well-known coaches to help them with the issue.

Dublin players are believed to have engaged in basketball games to better understand how offensive and defensive gameplans work through the use of screening and zonal defence.

The drills also included movements and strategies to get the ball to a team's most dangerous player and making attacking players race back and engage in a defensive approach.

Ingle has worked with the extremely successful DCU Mercy outfit in recent years and is one of the most recognisable faces in Irish basketball circles.

Speaking after last week's game with Derry, Jim Gavin said: "It's just a challenge for us.

"Whatever way a team plays against us, whether it's man-to-man or that blanket defence, it's a case of trying to work our way through it. And that would be the most satisfying team."

Dublin face Monaghan in Clones this weekend needing a positive result to make the National League semi-finals.

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