Jim Gavin has maintained that the likes of Bernard Brogan, Rory O’Carroll, and Eoghan O’Gara all have fighting chances of making Dublin’s All-Ireland final match panel.
O’Carroll had been an ever-present in the panel this summer, O’Gara missed out on one game, while Brogan won back his matchday slot against Roscommon only for the trio to miss out on Saturday’s win over Mayo. O’Carroll started in Omagh the previous weekend but disappointed as Brogan and O’Gara came off the bench, the latter scoring the only goal of the game.
Darren Daly, Robert McDaid, Andrew McGowan, and Conor McHugh are four others who could miss out and, should Brogan be omitted, it will be the second successive final where he has been considered surplus.
It’s certain at least two multiple All-Ireland winners will be left out on September 1 but Gavin insisted his extended squad all have a role and can make the 26.
“The slate is wiped clean then after today’s performance. The collective group prepare and the collective group get the team ready. Just because a player isn’t here on matchday doesn’t mean that he doesn’t influence his teammates — they do.
“It’s just that we can only select 26 to represent the team, but make no mistake about it, there are some outstanding leaders who weren’t on the pitch today but are leading in the shadows of this team and we’re really fortunate to be able to have an outstanding group like that who are all driven to just get Dublin to its best.
“Of course they are disappointed. Absolutely devastated,” he said, adding that “they are all driven to get Dublin to be its best and that’s where they get that great sense of pride and purpose, representing their clubs, primary schools, and obviously communities”.
Gavin spoke of his pride in the wide representation of clubs on the panel and knows how it will motivate the players.
“That’s who they are doing it for, they are doing it for that collective of Dublin GAA as every county is.
“In this squad there are over 20 clubs represented and that’s a phenomenal amount and each of those clubs will be talking about their club members being a part of the county panel and that’s the beauty of our games, it’s back to the communities, they’ll reach out at some stage over the next couple of days, back into their club mates and members and that’s the beauty of the GAA.”