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O'Sullivan set for return to training next week ahead of All-Ireland final

The defender was forced off just 28 minutes into Dublin’s semi-final win over Galway.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

DUBLIN MANAGER JIM Gavin has confirmed that Cian O’Sullivan will be fit to play in the All-Ireland football final on 2 September.

The Kilmacud Crokes defender was forced off with a leg injury 28 minutes into the semi-final win over Galway, but Gavin says he’ll be available for their four-in-a-row bid.

“Thankfully everything is good there, so he’ll be back training with us next week,” he said at Dublin’s pre-All-Ireland final press night. “He’ll be back with us (for the final).”

The 30-year-old missed the majority of Dublin’s Leinster campaign after he underwent shoulder surgery in March.

O’Sullivan is just one of three players who’ve started in each of Dublin’s five All-Ireland finals since 2011, in addition to Stephen Cluxton and James McCarthy.

Gavin added that the reigning champions have a clean bill of health ahead of the meeting with Tyrone. Competition for places in his starting 15 is likely to intensify over the coming two weeks.

Eoin Murchan is expected to come under stiff competition from Michael Fitzsimons to start in the final, while Cormac Costello, Kevin McManamon, Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Flynn have all impressed off the bench in recent games.

Eoghan O’Gara didn’t make an appearance against Galway despite scoring 2-2 in the previous game against Roscommon. Bernard Brogan made his competitive return from a torn ACL against the Rossies but failed to make the 26-man squad the last day out.

Gavin admits keeping his whole squad happy is “always a challenge.”

“We’re fortunate that we’ve a group of players that are doing their best for their team, and have shown incredible attitude and incredible energy in the sessions that we have with them,” he says.

“They’re all vying for game-time and for squad time. That’s the great thing about them that they drive each other along so hard. As a management team, Jason (Sherlock), Declan (Darcy), Paul Clarke and Shane O’Hanlon, we’re just trying to do our best for the team.

“To try and have on the pitch at one time, the 15 players that best represent the group. You don’t always get it right, but you’re trying to do the right thing for the team and for the group. Each game, going into the game and even in the game, there’s challenges to try and get the combinations right.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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