Dubs to reveal new captain next week

Dubs to reveal new captain next week

Dublin senior football manager Pat Girloy is set to reveal next week who will captain the Dublin team for this summer's Championship campaign.

A total of six players have skippered the Sky Blues during the National League, which culminates this Sunday at Parnell Park when defender Paul Griffin will lead out the home side against bottom-of-the-table Westmeath.

"We are very close to making a decision (on the captaincy) and we will do that next week when we announce it to the players. We are pretty sure in our minds who it is going to be," Gilroy said today.

David Henry, Conal Keaney, Ciaran Whelan, Bryan Cullen and Stephen Cluxton have already led the Dublin team this season. Raheny Shamrocks clubman Henry is likely to take the role in the Championship, having led the Leinster champions against Tyrone and Donegal recently.

Gilroy believes that the rotation policy has worked well in helping to boost the leadership qualities in his panel.

"I think there are a lot of leaders in the team. I think each of the guys who have had the captaincy have really started to step up to the mark in the last month or so and I have really seen the difference.

"That can only be a good thing for us going forward," he added.

Gilroy also revealed that Bernard Brogan is close to making a full return to fitness after he was sidelined in recent months following injuries against both Galway and Mayo.

"Bernard still has a bit of a problem as well from the Mayo game so we have considered that. We have put out a very strong team to face Westmeath and hopefully we'll get a result this weekend.

"He's training but he's just not training fully. It will be something that will be fine over the next week or so."

Although Dublin's opponents this Sunday have not won a game in this season's league, Gilroy is mindful of how close the Lake county side have been to registering a victory.

"Westmeath are one of the strongest teams in Leinster. They gave Tyrone a much better match (this season) than us in the Championship last year.

"They have had good league performances without winning games so I am expecting a really tough game."

He added: "They have a very strong defence and out the field they have a few good forwards so I don't think their position really reflects the kind of team they are.£

Possible relegation is not causing Gilroy sleepless nights either as he believes that the league has been a success for him in getting to know his players and helping to build a panel.

"Look, if we get relegated, in one week's time that will be forgotten about. It's what happens in the summer (that matters).

"To a degree it's out of our hands as well. Our main aim now for this week is going to be Westmeath and we'll see what happens then.

"We hadn't worked with these players (before). We only got them on the first of January and it's only now seven or eight weeks to the Championship.

"We had a very short time to really get to know guys and I think some of the guys have really acquitted themselves very well.

"Some of the guys we have tried have been very good so far - Denis (Bastick) at full-back and Alan Hubbard. These guys playing in those positions - they were on the panel but weren't in those positions playing regularly.

"That kind of thing is invaluable because you won't get the same thing in friendly games that you will get in competitive matches."

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