Monday 23 April 2018

WATCH - Alan Brogan explains why he has changed his mind on whether Diarmuid Connolly should start against Tyrone

Alan Brogan thinks Diarmuid Connolly will start this weekend
Alan Brogan thinks Diarmuid Connolly will start this weekend Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dublin legend Alan Brogan believes Diarmuid Connolly will regain his place in Jim Gavin's starting XV in this weekend's All-Ireland semi-final with Tyrone.

Connolly has not featured for the Dubs since the Leinster quarter-final victory over Carlow after he was handed a 12-week ban for pushing linesman Ciarán Branagan.

His lack of match practice is an obvious concern for Dublin boss Gavin but Brogan believes the St Vincent's attacker will start, even through he initially thought Connolly wouldn't make the first team.

"There are obviously a few things at play. Obviously, the Diarmuid Connolly thing is a huge talking point... Will he play or will he keep him on the bench?," he told GAA podcast, The Throw-In

"Last week, I was thinking they would keep him in reserve and the 15-20 guys that have got Dublin this far... he would stick with them and bring Diarmuid on the bench.

"The more I think of it, a straight swap for Eric Lowndes is probably an easy decision for Jim Gavin to make and Lowndes will go back to the bench without too much fuss.

"If you were dropping one of the bigger players, it would be a bigger deal.

"It's been working very well for Jim. Bar that change I think he'll stick very close to what he has, maybe one or two changes in defence or if there are any injuries we don't know about but by in large the same team that started the last day."

With the plethora of talent at his disposal, Gavin is likely to leave some high profile names on the bench for the entirety of the Tyrone showdown.

"There is definitely going one or two big names to be left off the 20 that are used next weekend. We saw Kevin McManamon the last day didn't get a run," he added.

"In fairness to Jim, he does put a lot of emphasis on what is going on in these 'A' versus 'B' games because the earlier Leinster championship games... it's hard to go on them. He's going with what he sees in training but I'd imagine Kevin was very disappointed.

"He's had to take this sub role on the chin and all of a sudden he finds himself not coming off the bench."

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