Connolly 'hasn't been available', return of Flynn and defensive injuries as Dublin gear up for championship

Dublin boss insists there is ‘a duty of care’ to be shown to an amateur player.

Dublin face Offaly or Wicklow in their Leinster quarter-final tie.
Dublin face Offaly or Wicklow in their Leinster quarter-final tie.
Image: INPHO

DUBLIN WILL CONTINUE to leave the door open for a potential return for Diarmuid Connolly this summer with manager Jim Gavin stating yesterday the player ‘hasn’t been available’ as the All-Ireland champions gear up for the start of their 2018 championship campaign.

Gavin admitted at the Leinster championship launch that the star forward is not involved as they get set for their provincial opener against Offaly or Wicklow on the weekend of 26-27 May.

And Gavin believes there is a ‘duty of care’ to be shown to an amateur player as rumours continue to circulate for the reasons behind the absence of the St Vincent’s club man.

Connolly’s solitary inter-county appearance this year came in the league game in February against Mayo in Castlebar while he was not involved in his club’s Dublin championship victories over Skerries Harps and Na Fianna last month.

“Well the situation is that Diarmuid just hasn’t been available, to play club football, in the championship, football and hurling with his club, and with the county as well.

“We respect that position, and hopefully everyone does as well.

“It is an amateur sport, but that said, the door will always be open for Diarmuid, and I know for sure with the club and also the county, and hopefully we’ll see him back playing Gaelic games soon,” said Gavin.

“I just hope we’ve a duty of care within the association, for anyone who volunteers their time. It is an amateur sport, be it managers we have here today, that you respect them, and from a player perspective as well, and I hope people understand that.

“But in terms of the current squad, we’ve always embraced what we’ve had, and the focus is relentless on the game ahead of us. That’s where their focus is now, on the game against Wicklow or Offaly. That’s where their drive is towards.

“Whoever we have in the squad. We’ve been faced with similar situations in the past and they just keep driving on.”

Jim Gavin Dublin manager Jim Gavin in Trim Castle yesterday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The return of Paul Flynn to club action last weekend with Fingallians after an injury lay-off has been welcomed by Gavin.

“We just took a sensible approach to it, rested him, pushed him through the national league but Paul has been very diligent with the medical team. He’s in tip-top condition now, great to see him back.

“Paul is such a determined man, both professionally and in his sport, and won’t give up easy. And he’s worked really hard, so great to see him back.”

Gavin also gave an update on the rehabilitation of Jack McCaffrey (cruciate), Cian O’Sullivan (shoulder) and Bernard Brogan (cruciate) from their various injuries.

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“Jack (McCaffrey) is very close, Cian O’Sullivan is very close, so good to have them coming back into the squad. He’s (Bernard Brogan) on track, doing a lot of work, a big medical team behind him.

“Professionally business is going very well, family life is going well, and first and foremost he’s healthy. He’ll definitely be back playing football, that’s for sure, again another determined young man.

“But whether that’s in a Dublin jersey this year I don’t know, because I don’t know what journey we’ll be on or where it will end.

“All he can do is get himself back playing football. Will that coincide with a Dublin jersey this summer, I just don’t know.”

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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