Gavin still not closing the door on Connolly return in blue

Jim Gavin has refused to close the door on Diarmuid Connolly rejoining the Dublin panel.

Not for the first time, Gavin referred to a specific question in a general sense but is not ruling anything in or out for the St Vincent’s man.

“We had (club) league games on Wednesday, we were looking at those players, we (had) league games (Sunday). We’ll have an early start to get out to watch some of those as well. I’d expect to see one or two fellas coming in from clubs. We’ve always had an open door policy and if guys are playing well and they want to commit to the Dublin football team then we’d be delighted to have them.”

Gavin also heaped praised on Rory O’Carroll who made his first appearance for Dublin since 2015 when coming on as a substitute in Portlaoise.

He’s in based on his performances with Kilmacud Crokes. He’s in based on his Championship form. He’s back. It’s been a seemless transition for him.

“It’s a mark of the man that he has applied himself so well, even last year down in New Zealand — he was training away to get himself ready for his return to Kilmacud Crokes and possibly to the Dublin senior football team. That shows his dedication. But we’ve gone into plenty of battles with Rory, back since his U21 days.

“And we know each other really well.”

Gavin, who maintained Bernard Brogan is still part of his plans despite not making the match-day panel, felt Saturday’s emphatic win was a fine tribute to Dublin legend Anton O’Toole who passed away last week.

At his funeral, his Templeogue-Synge Street club members on the county panel helped carry his coffin along with the likes of James McCarthy and Ciarán Kilkenny.

“There’s a great sense of community within Dublin GAA and how they paid their respects to Anton O’Toole. There certainly has been a lot of sadness in Dublin GAA. But it’s also been a celebration. And there was a fantastic eulogy by Father Joe Cassidy in Mount Argus about Anton’s life. Anton was an outstanding man, first and foremost but he was also a brilliant football player and I think they honoured his memory with a performance like that.”

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