Monday 19 August 2019

'Dublin supporters and myself would love to see him back' - Jim Gavin hints at Diarmuid Connolly return

There is talk of Diarmuid Connolly returning to the Dublin panel
There is talk of Diarmuid Connolly returning to the Dublin panel

Frank Roche

DIARMUID CONNOLLY has not yet been recalled to the Dublin senior football panel, it was confirmed today by Jim Gavin.

But the Sky Blues boss has made his most public statement yet that he'd relish having Connolly back in the fold for their All-Ireland five-in-a-row assault, telling Off The Ball: "Dublin supporters and myself would love to see him back."

Speculation has been mounting in recent weeks over a potential inter-county return for Connolly, but there was no definitive news from the Dublin manager when he attended the Leinster championships launch in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

Already this week has seen the recall of Rory O’Carroll (for the first time since 2015) and the retirement of Paul Flynn.

But asked if there was any definitive news about Connolly, Gavin replied: “Like any player there, if a player is playing well with their club and they’re interested to come back in and to commit themselves to senior inter-county football, well obviously we’re interested. 

“So it’s a choice that players make, and I need to respect those choices and I hope you do too.”

Asked if the player had not been brought back in yet, he confirmed: “No.”

To a follow-up question about when he had last spoken to Connolly, the Dublin boss replied: “I’m in conversation with a lot of players who aren’t on the squad. There’s ongoing conversations with a whole host of players.”

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Gavin also revealed that “over the coming week, we’ll be inviting players in that have never represented the Dublin senior football team before, into our training, because they have performed consistently well in the club leagues and the club championship.”

This applied for “every player. If they play consistently well for their clubs and want to play with the county and make a choice - because it is a choice – then we’re interested.”

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