Wednesday 21 March 2018

Gilroy set to ring changes

DUBLIN manager Pat Gilroy doesn't do sentiment -- and that's why he's preparing to wield the axe on the All-Ireland champions' squad, WRITES LIAM KELLY.

Speaking at Fingallians GAA club last night where the Dublin footballers and hurlers held an open training session for supporters, Gilroy said he expects to make at least four changes to the squad ahead of the championship.

"That's the worst part of the job because you're putting out a guy who has given you everything," he said. "He's tried his best and the attitude has been right. There's no problem cutting a guy who's acting the mick and that, but that has never been the case for us, particularly at this time of the year.

"Whatever about leaving a lad off a team, that's not too bad, but leaving a lad off a squad altogether is different. They're not the conversations you look forward to but it's a part of the job."

The Dublin U-21 side winning the All-Ireland title last weekend will certainly influence Gilroy, although he doesn't want to hear too much talk about Ciaran Kilkenny, who is preparing for his Leaving Cert.

"We want to have 32 or 33 guys who really have a chance of playing. It's hard to get to that but we have that luxury at the moment, so we will be leaving off good, quality players. There's no doubt about that," he said.

And if any of the U-21s come through, Gilroy won't hesitate to play them, saying: "If you're good enough you're old enough. We deliberately left them alone this year because we had enough numbers, but certainly if a fella is good enough, that's fine.

"Rory O'Carroll did it at 19. James McCarthy the same. It's not every guy who's going to do it but if they're good enough we'll put them in. It's a new year and different things happen. You have to see what's in front of you and be objective on it. Loyalty can be misguided sometimes.

"2011 is gone now. It's all about 2012 and there's certainly people who have pushed themselves forward who didn't play last year."

Irish Independent

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