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Good news for Dublin as Connolly's back in training before Mayo game

The struggling Dubs are in relegation trouble in Division 1.

Diarmuid Connolly returns from club duty with St Vincent's.
Diarmuid Connolly returns from club duty with St Vincent's.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

RELEGATION-THREATENED DUBLIN will welcome All-Star forward Diarmuid Connolly back to training ahead of Saturday’s crucial Allianz Football League clash with Mayo.

Connolly’s return from club duty with St Vincent’s couldn’t be more timely, as Dublin have slipped to second-from-bottom in the table after Saturday’s draw with Tyrone.

Ger Brennan and Gavin Burke have also been called up from the back-to-back AIB Leinster Club champions, but Burke will concentrate on his role with the county’s U21 side first.

“Diarmuid played with St Vincent’s on Sunday and played quite well,” said Dublin manager Jim Gavin. “Vincent’s won that game and he’s due to return to the squad this week. Potentially, he could be involved at the weekend but he hasn’t taken to the pitch yet to train. We’ll assess him and see how he is.”

Dublin have used 33 players so far in just four Division 1 games. That figure will rise to 36 when the Vincent’s trio take part, while Kevin Nolan and Kevin O’Brien look set for some game time too. Alan Brogan may also be back before the campaign concludes.

“We are not looking for a settled team,” said Gavin. “Most teams that we are playing are settled. We are trying new things, tactically we are trying new things. Some are working, some don’t.

“This is part of the process and we want to give players a chance to stake a claim — not only in the starting 15, or our squad of 26, but on the panel itself.

“To do that there is a process you have to go through and you have to give each player a fair chance. It can be a rough sea but we are going to hold our course and we are very much in control of where we want to go.”

Gavin was speaking at the launch of a three-year sponsorship deal between Dublin GAA and Bavaria non-alcoholic beer. He also revealed his surprise at the Congress decision not to pursue the clock/hooter system, despite being approved by two previous Congress meetings.

“We pride ourselves that it’s a very democratic association,” said Gavin. “I think this is the third time it’s been brought to Congress. For it not to pass, I found that very surprising.”

This article was originally published on 10 March at 00.05am

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