Thursday 22 August 2019

'Why would you not want someone with the class of Diarmuid Connolly?' - Peter Canavan

Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Morley

Tyrone legend Peter Canavan believes that there is a place for Diarmuid Connolly in Jim Gavin's summer plans, even if it is only as an impact sub with Dublin.

Connolly hasn't played for Dublin in the championship since his All-Ireland final appearance against Mayo in 2017, when he came on as a half-time substitute for the boys in blue to turn the tide in their favour.

However, following a cameo appearance against Mayo in the 2018 league, Connolly opted to walk away from inter-county football. He hs currently playing with his club, St Vincent's, and Gavin has left the door open over a possible return.

Speaking to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast in association with Bord Gais Energy, Canavan said that Gavin should try his utmost to get the mercurial attacker back into the fold.

"Why would you not want someone with the class of Diarmuid Connolly, even if its only off the bench and to come on?," he asked.

"You can imagine the reaction that Hill 16 and the Dublin support would give to Diarmuid Connolly if he came into an All Ireland semi-final or final with fifteen minutes to go, and if [Gavin] needs a player to pull something out of a hat."

In regards to the Dublin and Louth Leinster quarter-final, Canavan cannot see any obvious cracks in the Blue's drive for five or a ninth Leinster consecutive.

Paul Mannion got sent off for the Dubs in the first half for what appeared to be a shoulder to shoulder tackle against Conal McKeever in their Leinster quarter final clash with the Wee county.

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"A player has got a straight red from trying to implement a shoulder charge. He was unlucky that the Louth lad's head was down and with [Down's] Caolan Mooney the same thing happened last week and it was more crucial because it had more of a bearing on that game," said Canavan.

Irish Independent GAA reporter Michael Verney was impressed by the ruthlessness and competition in Gavin's team, picking out Darren Gavin and Cormac Costello as players who could feature later in the summer.

"Basically the lads who started the other day, Costello and Gavin, they were given the jersey and it is up to them to hold onto it and if they keep playing well they will hold onto it," said Verney.

With the return of the three-time All-Ireland winning fullback Rory O'Carroll from New Zealand, Verney predicted that he will be a big part in the drive for five in the Dublin defense.

"Rory O'Carroll getting in is probably a sign of what is to come later in the season as well," he added.

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