Saturday 15 December 2018

Joe Brolly: Last summer was humiliating for Diarmuid Connolly - I don't think he will play under Jim Gavin again

27 August 2017; Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
27 August 2017; Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Joe Brolly doesn't think Diarmuid Connolly will represent Dublin again while Jim Gavin is manager, with the All Star forward set to play football in America this summer instead of lining out in the All-Ireland championship.

Connolly has been absent from the Dublin panel since a National League cameo against Mayo in March, after enduring a fractured season in 2017 following a three-month ban stemming from an incident with a linesman last June.

Jim Gavin confirmed that the five-time All-Ireland champion is taking a break from inter-county football, with the latest reports suggesting that Connolly will play in Boston this summer instead of taking part in Dublin's four in-a-row bid.

Speculation has now turned to whether Connolly, who will turn 31 this summer, will return to the Dublin set-up in the future, but Brolly doesn't think a reunion is likely while Gavin remains in charge.

Speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast, Brolly said that he feels the relationship between Connolly and Gavin 'can't be mended', after the two-time All Star was left off the starting team for the All-Ireland semi-final and final last year following his return from suspension.

"I don't think so," Brolly said when asked if he thought Diarmuid Connolly would play under Jim Gavin again.

"What Jim Gavin was thinking in not selecting him, it must have been a huge blow for him. Then to leave him off until there was no choice but to bring him on. I think it was pretty humiliating for a footballer of his stature who has put in a huge shift for Dublin since Pat Gilroy took over as manager and turned him around. He turned him into a team player.

"I don't know what justification there could be for it. I know Jim is very rigid in his principles on the game but I thought it was very humiliating.

"The fact that he walked away from the Dubs and the big days - it would be like asking Maradona if he wants to play in the World Cup finals. This is what guys like Diarmuid Connolly are made for.

"He is going to America at 30 years of age and still flying and that tells me their relationship that can't be mended."

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