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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

All-Ireland replay scoring star out but Dublin welcome back some big names for Monaghan clash

The reigning champions face a Saturday quarter-final.

pjimage (2) Costello out but MacAuley, Cooper and Flynn in the frame to return. Source: INPHO

LAST OCTOBER’S ALL-Ireland final replay scoring hero Cormac Costello is the only definite absentee for Dublin’s quarter-final with Monaghan on Saturday.

But with manager Jim Gavin declaring everyone else available at a press conference this morning, it means three established players and All-Star winners will be back competing for selection.

Defender Johnny Cooper missed the Leinster final win over Kildare through injury while the experienced pair of Paul Flynn and Michael Darragh MacAuley did not feature at any stage during the provincial championship.

Costello has endured a difficult 2017 campaign with injuries hindering his aim to progress after shooting 0-3 off the bench in that success over Mayo last year.

“They’re all back, just Cormac Costello (is out),” remarked Gavin.

“Cormac is back on the pitch, he’s partaking in the training sessions again. It’s just a little bit too early for him.

“It’s disappointing for any player that picks up an injury you know. But he’s really worked so hard at it with the medical team. He puts all the hard work in, he’s been really diligent and hard at it.

“Now he’s back on the pitch, which is great for him and great for the team.

“He’s been very, very positive and I think that’s why he’s got back so quick. He’s shown great determination.”

Jim Gavin Dublin football manager Jim Gavin. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Flynn and MacAuley have not featured since the league final loss to Kerry in April with Gavin insisting he will focus on current form rather than past records in selecting the team.

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“It is always in the past what players have done. It’s over. All I’m interested in is what players are producing and how they’re performing in the present because that’s all we can judge.

“Nobody can dictate what way the game is going. You have to plan, both teams will have plans, but how players will perform, you just don’t know.

“So from a management perspective all you can go is present form. I think if you look back at previous form, it’s a dangerous game, we don’t entertain that.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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