Saturday 15 December 2018

Jim Gavin insists Diarmuid Connolly is still part of Dublin squad despite growing speculation about his future

Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Diarmuid Connolly
Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Diarmuid Connolly
Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Jim Gavin has insisted Diarmuid Connolly remains part of the Dublin football squad despite growing speculation about the player's future with the All-Ireland champions.

For the second successive week, Connolly was not part of the 26-man squad that travelled to Galway, having also missed the win over Kerry.

There has been much speculation that Connolly is not currently involved with Dublin, even in a training capacity, but for the second consecutive week Gavin insisted he was simply "resting" and had not been cut from the squad.

"At the moment we are giving Diarmuid a rest - as we are to a couple of other players who didn't partake today," said Gavin after yesterday's draw.

"Kevin McManamon is just back from Boston. He was there with the Irish boxing team in his capacity with them. And Darren Daly as well.

"It's just trying to get that balance right. We have 10 weeks now to go to championship and it's just trying to get that balance right for those players."

Connolly returned to play the last 26 minutes of the win over Mayo, but has been absent since. The St Vincent's man played just over 210 minutes between last year's league and championship, completing just one match against Carlow, after which he picked up a three-month ban for pushing linesman Colm Branagan.

He has been missing from various team events since the All-Ireland final, including the medal presentation.

Meanwhile, Dublin will be hoping selector Jason Sherlock avoids any censure for his involvement in a heated sideline encounter yesterday.

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