Gavin confident U21 heroes can step up to senior standard

Dublin boss Jim Gavin believes several of his All-Ireland winning U21 players are ready to make the step up to the county’s senior panel.

After yesterday’s victory, the Round Towers, Clondalkin man expressed confidence in his charges if called upon by Pat Gilroy.

“I think so. I’m sure the senior management are looking at one or two of them. I’m sure one or two would be able to step up to the mark.”

Ciarán Kilkenny, who has attracted interest from the AFL, is likely to be one of them.

“Whatever Ciarán does it’s important he leaves with the sun on his back whether it’s an academic qualification and he goes abroad to get work or uses his sporting prowess to go away and get work abroad,’’ Gavin said.

“If he did go he’d be a massive loss to Gaelic games not just in Dublin but for everyone. Ciarán is a level-headed, very mature young man.

“He has a good support network around him and does his family proud. Whatever decision he makes it will be the right one for him.”

Roscommon manager Nigel Dineen can also see a number of his players making the senior grade and putting this disappointment behind them.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the players,’’ he said. “This bunch of lads are magnificent, they’d do anything for each other. They’re a great bunch and I feel sorry that they haven’t met their goal. But they’ll be back. Some of them aren’t U21 next year and that’s hard for them. There’s no doubt that they’ll move on and a lot of them will play senior football for Roscommon.

“There’ll be six, seven, eight of them who will join the senior panel and that’ll be good for Roscommon.”

Yesterday marked Gavin’s second U21 All-Ireland title in three years but he was keen to praise the players rather that accept the congratulations.

“I am just delighted for the players. There are big changes in personnel every year and great attitude by the guys.

“We have showed great resolve in all the games we have played and it’s something we have spoken to them about. They have taken ownership of this process. We knew this game was going to be very tough.”


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