The role of Whelan in both training and coaching the Sam Maguire winners in 2011 was regarded as vital, though the St Vincent’s man was a notable absentee as they began their latest campaign yesterday.
The veteran and former boss recently confirmed he’s sticking by the decision he made after the All-Ireland triumph to retire. It was expected Gilroy would move to find a suitable replacement, but confirmed after victory in the annual New Year’s Day Dubs Stars challenge he has no plans.”
“We’ll belt away as we are,” said Gilroy when asked about the hole in his backroom team. “There are lads who were involved last year and we’ll start off with the same people who were involved last year.
“I’ve obviously been sitting down with Mickey talking about the stuff we did last year and we have it all very well documented. So we’ll press on.”
Pushed on whether he would be replacing St Vincent’s club mate Whelan, Gilroy responded: “No, no, not at the minute anyway.”
Gilroy also confirmed he’ll stickwith the same early morning training sessions set the team up so well for success last year. “We’ll see, we probably will do it again,” he continued. “We have a bit of catching up to do because others might have been doing a bit more over the winter than us. We’ll need to do what we have done over the last few years.”
Gilroy was generally impressed with his players’ conditioning and Footballer of the Year Brogan stood out in Tallaght with a brilliant 1-2 inside the first 17 minutes. Dublin held a slender 2-6 to 2-5 half-time lead thanks to back to back points from former panellist Blaine Kelly before the break.
All-Ireland final hero Kevin McManamon then repeated his September heroics by firing a late goal after coming off the bench.
They’ll convene for their first training session tomorrow ahead of Sunday’s O’Byrne Cup clash with Carlow. Gilroy will have just 13 of his 2011 panel available for various reasons but expects them all back in time for the Allianz League campaign.
“We’ll be forced to have 11 guys that weren’t there last year so we’ll see how they get on,” he said. “We’ll have closer to our full squad back by January 20. “In League terms I’d say all of them will be back. Bernard Brogan will only be back a week at that stage but everyone else should be available.
“At the moment, there are one or two who have to have further investigations on little bits and pieces but, generally speaking, we’re in pretty good order. People like Paul Griffin will be close but we’ll play it by ear.”
Scorers for Dublin: A Brogan 1-2; MD Macauley & K McManamon 1-0 each; B Kelly (3f) & M McCarthy (1f) 0-3 each; C Murphy, R Corcoran,
Scorers for Dubs’ Stars : K Darcy (1f) & R McConnell (1 45) 1-1 each; P Ryan 1-0; J Murtagh 0-3 (2f); P Hudson 0-2; G Kane 0-1.
DUBLIN: M Savage; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, D Daly; D Lally, J McCarthy, J Small; MD Macauley, C Murphy; P Brogan, A Brogan, D Nelson; P Andrews, E O’Gara, M McCarthy.
Subs used: K McManamon, N Devereaux, B Kelly, R Corcoran, C O’Sullivan, E Fennell, M McCarthy.
DUBS STARS: S Supple; G Norton, S Murray, Martin Cahill; K Connolly, S O’Shaughnessy, G Kane; D Byrne, R McConnell; A Hubbard, J Murtagh, Mark Cahill; J O’Loughlin, K Darcy, P Hudson.
Subs used: P Boland, P Ryan, Philip Brogan, E Kirby, C Farrelly.
Referee: G McCormack.
Scorers for Dublin: R O’Dwyer 0-9 (6f); D Plunkett 1-4, S Ryan & P Carton 1-2 each; S Lambert 0-3; C McBride, C Clinton & R Walsh 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin Stars: S Stapleton 0-5 (2f, 1 65); C McCormack, L Ryan and G O’Meara 1-0 each; J O’Loughlin & K O’Reilly (1f) 0-2 each; J Maher (1f), S Durkin, J Gilligan & S Costello (1f) 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: F McGarry; R Trainor, O Gough, P Schutte; R Walsh, M Quilty, D Sutcliffe; C McBride, C Clinton; D O’Callaghan, R O’Dwyer, S Ryan; D Plunkett, S Lambert, P Carton.
Subs used: E Dillon h/t.
DUBS STARS: G Maguire; M Cussen, P Kelly, D Spain; M Travers, K Ryan, D Curran; G O’Meara, S Durkin; L Ryan, J O’Loughlin, S Stapleton; J Maher, C McCormack, K O’Reilly.
Subs used: S Costello, J Gilligan.
Referee: G McGrath.