Monday 16 September 2019

Kieran Donaghy on Diarmuid Connolly: 'It’s like Dublin have signed a free agent and they’ve got LeBron James'

Lebron James (left) and Diarmuid Connolly (right).
Lebron James (left) and Diarmuid Connolly (right).

Frank Roche

KIERAN DONAGHY has likened the return of Diarmuid Connolly to Dublin signing basketball legend LeBron James on a free transfer.

The retired Kerry great admitted that the timing of Connolly’s comeback "doesn’t make sense to me", coming in the midst of Dublin’s Super 8s campaign and just weeks after his aborted Stateside sojourn to play football in Boston.

But, otherwise, Donaghy views it as a win-win for Jim Gavin.

"It’s like they’ve signed a free agent and they’ve got LeBron James and they’re a step away from the championship," the pundit told Newstalk's ‘Off The Ball’.

"It’s gold for the Dubs on the Hill. They'll be absolutely delighted; Connolly’s a darling of the Hill. 

"And I don’t see the players having much issue with it. Once they go and win the five-in-a-row, I think everyone will be pretty happy."

Donaghy was perplexed why the player's availability wasn’t resolved either at the start or end of the league. 

But while surmising that Gavin knows his team would "probably win the All-Ireland without Diarmuid Connolly", he added: "If they do have a day where people aren’t firing, and Connolly comes on and hauls them over the line – which he’s very well capable of doing – it will be looked back on as a masterstroke.

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"It’s something that had to be done – but I just don’t know why it took this long," he concluded.

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