Jim Gavin questions new 26-man GAA championship panel guide

Jim Gavin took a thinly-veiled swipe at the new championship match regulation which will compel managers to issue a 26-man panel on the Thursday before a game.

No changes can be made to the personnel unless there is an emergency change in goalkeeper and Gavin highlighted his concerns after losing Emmet Ó Conghaile to a late injury before Saturday’s game in Castlebar.

“Unfortunately on Thursday night, Emmet picked up a soft tissue injury. It’s one of the challenges that managers and teams are going to have with this new rule — if you lose a player after Tuesday, you can’t replace him.

“Emmet was down to play; unfortunately he had a small little soft tissue injury in his calf, and he missed out. Tomás (Brady) took his opportunity and played very well.”

Gavin was just as fulsome in his praise for Brady’s midfield partner Denis Bastick who not only scored a goal but saved one too. “It just shows the mental resolve of the man. He was taken off quite early in the game last week. He worked hard at his game. He’s got a new baby boy at home as well; that’s a challenge in his life. And to manage working with the Bank of Ireland as well.

“But he was very focussed for this game, he practised very well during the week, and that performance was just a reflection of his determination and attitude,” added Gavin, who said Michael Darragh Macauley should return to action in a couple of weeks while Rory O’Carroll was taken off at half-time having felt ill.

Mayo’s Lee Keegan said he felt the team let down the sizeable Castlebar crowd with their toothless display. “It’s a complete reality check for us. They looked sharper and more composed, they were hungrier for the ball. A lot of our guys just didn’t get out of second gear. You could see it. It’s really disappointing for the huge crowd here in Castlebar.”

Stephen Cluxton was confirmed as Dublin’s captain for a third consecutive season.


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