Tuesday 16 July 2019

Jason Sherlock's Dublin departure confirmed as Peter Keane’s Kingdom face first major test


Sherlock pictured alongside Dublin Manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Sherlock pictured alongside Dublin Manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Colm Keys and Martin Breheny

Jason Sherlock is no longer part of the Dublin football coaching squad. Sherlock has been missing from the sideline for the opening two games against Monaghan and Galway, his place as maor foirne taken instead by Paul Clarke, who officially joined the set-up as a coach last year.

Sherlock came in as forwards coach in 2015 and was part of the last four All-Ireland title successes. On the cusp of a bid for a fifth title, his departure is a surprise.

He was the subject of a documentary 'Jayo' at Christmas that focused on his life and his career as a Dublin footballer.

Manager Jim Gavin has made a number of backroom changes in recent years.

Selector Michael Kennedy left in 2014 while skills coach Mick Bohan also departed that year. Mick Deegan did not return after the 2016 season.

Shane O'Hanlon and Declan Darcy have remained with him over the seven seasons so far with Clarke and fitness coach Bryan Cullen taking bigger roles.

His departure comes as it emerges that Diarmuid Connolly could be poised for a comeback. Connolly is reportedly engaging in one-on-one training sessions with Cullen with a view to returning.

The news comes as the Dubs make their way south for what is sure to be a keenly-fought duel with Kerry in Tralee.

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Peter Keane has made the perfect start to the new season, beating Tyrone and Cavan over the last two weekends without conceding any goals, but they will face a much bigger test in Austin Stack Park tonight (7.0).

Kerry-Dublin Allianz League games have been feisty affairs in recent years and with both keen to put down early-season markers, referee Maurice Deegan could face a busy evening.

The reigning kingpins are enjoying their greatest spell in their storied rivalry with Kerry, having won eight, lost two and drawn one of 11 league and championship games since Gavin took over before the start of the 2013 season.

Dublin thumped Kerry by 12 points in last year's corresponding fixture, a record defeat for the Kingdom during Eamonn Fitzmaurice's reign.

Mayo, who have also won their opening two games, will attempt to complete their best league start for several seasons in Castlebar tonight when they host Cavan, who are trapped in the relegation zone with Tyrone after both lost their opening games.

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