All-Ireland SFC Qualifier(R3)
Dublin v Armagh, Today, 5pm (Croke Park)
DUBLIN senior football manager Pat Gilroy wouldn’t get into a war of words with his hurling counterpart Anthony Daly over the availability of dual player Rory O’Carroll.
O’Carroll has been named at full-back for the senior footballers clash with Armagh this afternoon, but failed to line out for the U21 hurlers in their Bord Gais Energy Leinster final victory over Wexford at Parnell Park on Wednesday night.
Daly was furious that O’Carroll wasn’t made available and slammed the senior football management for withdrawing the dual star from the hurling decider.
“To be honest I spoke to him (Anthony Daly) and I spoke to Richie Stakelum and I think that’s where that should really rest,” Gilroy said.
“That’s a private matter within the Dublin County Board and I don’t think there is any benefit with airing that through the media.
“I think we’ve tried to work very hard and work very closely with the U21 hurling selectors throughout the year to try and make the thing work. But you’ve got to be practical as well and give a fella a chance and that’s just our view on it. I’ll be happy to continue to work with them and as long as it’s sensible then we’ll try to make the thing work for Rory.”
The Kilmacud Crokes defender will take to the field against the Orchard County at Croke Park this afternoon, in an unchanged line-up from the team which dug deep to overcome Tipperary in last Saturday’s qualifier at GAA Headquarters.
However, the starting 15 is subject to late fitness tests to midfielder Ross McConnell and half-forward Paul Flynn.
Eamon Fennell is also likely to be ruled out of contention for the substitutes’ bench today.
“Eamon has a hip injury that’s probably going to need surgery to clear it completely but he’s trying to manage it at the minute. He picked it up coming into the Meath match. Ross has a problem with his back and Paul Flynn has a problem.
Meanwhile this afternoon’s game has come too soon for former Under-21 captain Cian O’Sullivan.
“Cian is very close to recovering but we couldn’t consider him for this weekend but he probably would be available to us next week.”
Gilroy recognises that like the Metropolitans, Armagh are also a side in transition.
However, he knows that this test will be a difference in class, from Dublin’s previous outing.
“I think Armagh are a good side, probably a side in transition from an old team to a new team but they seem to be making good progress this year. I think their league performances were very solid.
“They’re a strong team and they work very hard for each other. That’s the one thing, in all of their games they work very hard for each other so I think we’ll have a massive challenge.
“They’re quite good around the middle of the field, they tend to win a lot of possession and they have two inside forwards that are as god as any in the country.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us but I think it’s a challenge that we’re ready for.
“We’re improving and making progress in this year’s Championship I feel, and I think we’re ready for this game.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved