Sunday 15 September 2019

St Vincent's boss Brian Mullins remains tight-lipped on Diarmuid Connolly absence


Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Frank Roche

The 'will he, won't he?' Diarmuid Connolly saga took another twist last night when he didn't feature in club championship action for the St Vincent's footballers, writes Frank Roche.

The five-time All-Ireland winner was listed in the official match programme for the reigning champions' Dublin SFC opener against Skerries Harps … but, as widely anticipated beforehand, he didn't play any part.

Connolly's absence is bound to increase speculation that he may not be involved when Dublin open their Leinster SFC campaign against Offaly or Wicklow on the last weekend in May.

Jim Gavin has stated several times that Connolly is taking a "rest" from inter-county action, having featured just once - off the bench against Mayo in late February - during their victorious Allianz Football League campaign.

But the suspicion that Connolly has fallen out of love with football, for whatever reason or reasons, is bound to intensify after he failed to appear for his club yesterday evening.

Connolly has skippered St Vincent's to the last two Dublin SFC titles as well as to Leinster club glory in 2016. The holders made light of his absence for last night's round-robin clash against Skerries, winning 5-18 to 1-9.

Afterwards, asked if there was any update on Connolly, Vincent's manager Brian Mullins said: "I don't want to add to any speculation. Diarmuid has been quite quiet himself. Everybody is talking for him. So I want to respect his wishes that he doesn't want to be the centre of discussion or debate, and he's entitled to that," Mullins concluded.

The next SFC outing for Vincent's is against Na Fianna on April 28.

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