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'Very understanding' - Dublin U21 captain grateful for club support in fixture dilemma

Cillian O’Shea is gearing up for the decider against Galway.

Dublin U21 football captain Cillian O'Shea.
Dublin U21 football captain Cillian O'Shea.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN U21 CAPTAIN Cillian O’Shea has praised his club and their management for their understanding in this week’s fixture dilemma as his side gear up for the EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football final on 29 April.

Dublin’s players faced a difficult decision this week between club and county, with the scenario described as ‘morally wrong’ by the Club Players Association founder Declan Brennan.

O’Shea is one of six Kilmacud Crokes players involved in Dessie Farrell’s U21 squad. He started in last Saturday’s semi-final win over Donegal along with club mates Tom Fox and Dan O’Brien.

Fellow Kilmacud player Andy McGowan came on as a substitute while Callum Pearson and Ben Shovlin are also part of the panel.

Kilmacud Crokes cruised to a comprehensive Dublin SFC first round victory over Erins Isle by 10-12 to 0-7 last night.

O’Shea and his U21 colleagues were togged out for the game in O’Toole Park but were not pressed into action.

But O’Shea’s Dublin team-mates Shane Clayton and Colm Basquel lined out for Ballyboden St-Enda’s in Parnell Park, with Clayton going off injured in the defeat to St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh.

O’Shea admitted it had not been an easy situation for the players to find themselves in.

“Not really an easy choice. We requested that, the U21′s management with support of the clubs involved, would agree to defer certain games involving U21 players with a week and a half out from an All-Ireland final.

The Herald - EirGrid Tyrone's Seán Cavanagh, Dublin's Cillian O’Shea and Galway's Michael Daly with EirGrid's Rosemary Steen and GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy in Croke Park today. Source: Iain White/Fennell Photography

“That request wasn’t granted. So then we just made the decision as players to make ourselves available.

“Then every situation was different for every player with their clubs, depending on who they were playing. It was individual communication with every management to manage game time.

“The club was very understanding. Gabriel (Brannigan), the manager was very understanding. We were togged out and ready to go if needed, just happened to go that way that we weren’t.

“We’ve strength in depth at the club so (it) wouldn’t have been a worry too much.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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