Gavin hits out at collective training ban

New Dublin boss Jim Gavin argues inter-county senior managers should be entitled to dictate what off-season break to give their players.

The new manager begins his term in earnest on Saturday when Dublin are permitted to return to collective training, having made an appeal to Croke Park.

As their All-Ireland semi-final fell in September, they would have beenprecluded from meeting up until December 29. But while they, like five other football teams including Cork, are allowed to recommence thisweekend, Gavin is against the collective training moratorium.

“I don’t think it should be in place,” he said. “I think each manager should view his squad and tailor each programme and manage each player as an individual rather than as a collective.

“That’s the way it needs to be approached. I understand where the GAA have come from, though, but if I had my way we wouldn’t have acollective restriction on training. Each player needs an individual programme, and some players need time off. And some players need to work in that off-season as well.”

The hurlers’ difficulty has once again turned out to be the footballers’ opportunity, as Gavin confirmed promising dual player Cormac Costello will be committed solely to football in 2013. Costello, son of county secretary John, has won an All-Ireland minor medal in both codes over the last two years. Having already secured the services of the hurlers’ former trainer Martin Kennedy, as well as defender Tomás Brady, Gavin, 41, will welcome Costello into his extended training panel on Saturday.

Gavin was bemused by speculation about Stephen Cluxton possibly quitting inter-county football next season. “The first time I spoke to Stephen he committed straightaway,” he revealed.

Eoghan O’Gara revealed he’ll be out of action until March or April as he prepares to undergo hip surgery.


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