Saturday 15 December 2018

'My reading is he will feel that role is too confined for him' - Joe Brolly on Diarmuid Connolly's absence

Diarmuid Connolly has been absent from Dublin's last three squads
Diarmuid Connolly has been absent from Dublin's last three squads

Joe Brolly feels that Diarmuid Connolly's continued absence from the Dublin squad is down to how Jim Gavin wants his half forwards to operate.

Connolly hasn't featured in any of Dublin's last three squads with boss Gavin insisting that he is resting the St Vincent's man, despite his lack of game time with the All Ireland champions since early last summer when he served a 12-week suspension.

Speaking on this week's Throw In podcast, in association with Allianz, Brolly claimed that Gavin sees Con O'Callaghan as his number 11 and that the wing half forward position for Dublin has evolved and is not suited to Connolly's game.

"The wing forward on the Dublin team is now being asked to perform a particular role up and down the sideline," said Brolly.

"He has to stay on the sideline, you will notice they hug the touchline.

"I think that Jim has made it pretty clear that he wants Con O'Callaghan as his number 11. There are pros and cons for himself or Diarmuid Connolly at number 11.

"I think Diarmuid would be quite happy to play at 10 so long as he was given a free role.

"My reading is he will feel that role is too confined for him. Diarmuid is a free spirit. You see the way he plays football. You know he loves to play for his club, he rarely misses a club game.

"My suspicion is that that's the problem."

When asked by host Will Slattery if Gavin should be more accommodating to Connolly, who came on at half time and was instrumental in Dublin beating Mayo in last year's All Ireland final, Brolly suggested that Gavin's philosophy is geared towards team ethic. 

"But that's really not the way Jim Gavin works. The character of the boys has to be right and that includes, if necessary, playing for the good of the team and sacrificing your own individual aspirations for what you want to achieve on the field."

Subscribe to The Throw-In,'s weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.

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