Gavin pleased as Connolly adds to Dublin options

There was a smile and a handshake for Diarmuid Connolly upon his departure from the field for a black card but Jim Gavin had returned to battle mode by the time he met the press.

Gavin pleased as Connolly adds to Dublin options

There was a smile and a handshake for Diarmuid Connolly upon his departure from the field for a black card but Jim Gavin had returned to battle mode by the time he met the press.

His attention had turned to Mayo but not his words and they weren’t mentioned once for the five-plus minutes.

His chat was otherwise sparing. Was it a big call to start Connolly?

“I think Diarmuid loves Dublin and we love him. Circumstances change for all players. They volunteer their time and we’re delighted he played really well for the team.”

What did you say to Connolly as he was shown off the field?

“I just said well done. I thought he did very well for us. He did well for the team and that’s what we expect from our players and he did that to the nth degree.”

No, he did not watch the Mayo-Donegal game the evening before and, no, he had not make half a dozen switches to the starting team in the wake of seeing the Tyrone team.

“They’re amateur players, we volunteer our time, we have to give a list in early on in the week.

“We give it in and then we decide closer to the game in every match we play who the starting 15 will be.”

Asked if anyone put their hand up for inclusion against Mayo, he said, “Everyone. You saw what it meant to play for Dublin.

“A lot of fatigued, tired bodies inside there. They gave it everything. That’s all you ask.

“We have such a difficult task each week not just picking the first 15, but the panel of 26. Today is a reflection of how difficult that is.

“But also how much of a privilege it is and such a tough challenge to pick a team next week but one we’re looking forward to.”

At one end of the spectrum, there is Seán Bugler, 21 this year.

At the other, there is his St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh club-mate Bernard Brogan, 14 years older than Bugler.

“Bernard is a very senior player and you could see that desire at the end of the game, putting in tackles and challenging kick-outs. He is a real leader.

“Seán is forging his own career in a club jersey first and foremost, he’s played really well for them in the League and Championship. It’s good to see him doing well for himself but also the team.”

Quirke's Football Podcast: Mayo's rock-solid bunch of people. Dubs demystified. Kerry need dogs. With Tony McEntee and Cian O'Neill

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up