Charlie Redmond: Connolly is Dublin’s greatest ever forward

Dublin great Charlie Redmond has insisted there’ll be no ‘resentment’ if Diarmuid Connolly beats a lionheart performer like Bernard Brogan to an All-Ireland final bench spot.

Charlie Redmond: Connolly is Dublin’s greatest ever forward

Dublin great Charlie Redmond has insisted there’ll be no ‘resentment’ if Diarmuid Connolly beats a lionheart performer like Bernard Brogan to an All-Ireland final bench spot.

Veteran Brogan has battled back from a horror cruciate injury in 2018, though didn’t make the 26 against Mayo, while Connolly, just weeks after returning to the squad, came on as a substitute.

Redmond said he hopes that Brogan is at least included on the bench for Sunday’s final against Kerry, when Dublin challenge for five All-Ireland wins in a row, but doesn’t believe there’ll be any fall-out if Connolly beats him to it.

Redmond said the same applies for any Dublin player that may be denied a bench role following Connolly’s return. “I don’t think there would be resentment within the team,” said Redmond, who admitted he would like Brogan to at least tog out.

“I certainly hope he does. There’s no doubt he has more days behind him in a Dublin jersey than in front of him. But I think, for a man who has given the service to the county that he has given over the years, it would be a fitting climax to his career - if it is to be his climax.

“Then again, Jim Gavin will be looking at who is the best forward that serves him to go in at a certain time. Would it be Bernard? Would it be Connolly? There are a number of permutations. So you have to look at that if you are Jim but, personally as a Dublin supporter, as a past Dublin player, I would love to see him get a jersey on Sunday.

Even if Dublin weren’t to prevail, for him to wear the jersey, if it is to be his last time to wear it, to do so on All-Ireland final Sunday would be great.

Redmond said he had no issues with Connolly’s mid-summer recall and felt it was a no-brainer for Gavin.

“For me Diarmuid Connolly is the greatest forward Dublin has ever produced and think of what we’ve produced over the years in Hanahoe, Keaveney, Hickey, O’Toole, Kevin Heffernan himself,” said Redmond, an All-Ireland winning attacker in 1995.

“For me, this guy is the best.

Did I think we’d see him again in a Dublin jersey this season? No. I thought that boat had sailed.

Redmond said the bigger picture is that it’s down to rare talents like Connolly and Brogan that Dublin are in this position, going for the five in a row, and not any perceived privileged financial position.

“Listen, we’re there to be knocked, champions are always there to be knocked,” he said. “They can do what they want and they can say what they want, the best thing you can do is nothing, just don’t react, ‘Yeah, you’re right’, and walk away. If they want to stop us getting the sponsorship and getting the rewards - then beat us. Then you’ll get the sponsorship and you’ll get the rewards. But you have to beat us.”

- Charlie Redmond was speaking at the launch of the Londis 7s, the senior All-Ireland football 7s tournament at Kilmacud Crokes.

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