IN THE WAKE of Dublin’s three-point defeat to Monaghan on Sunday, Jim Gavin did little to suggest Diarmuid Connolly will be part of his plans for 2019.
The St Vincent’s forward last appeared for the county as a substitute in the Division 1 clash against Mayo last February in Castlebar, and he spent the summer playing football in Boston with the Donegal club.
When pressed on Connolly’s exile from the Dublin panel, Gavin was coy on the situation and, while he didn’t rule out a potential return, it appears unlikely at this stage.
“It’s like any player who volunteers their time for playing inter-county football,” Gavin told reporters in Clones.
“Those choices that they make are purely those choices and, if players want to come back, we’ll be delighted to have them.”
When asked if that meant Connolly didn’t want to return to the squad, Gavin replied: “No, that’s not what I said.”
The Dublin manager was also critical of the GAA’s decision to drop the controversial handpass rule before the league. He said that inter-county managers should not be given a “soap box” to change any rules brought in by the GAA.
“The league in some ways is an experiment,” Gavin told RTÉ’s Brian Carthy.
“There’s a lot of shadow boxing going on the next couple of weeks until the league finishes because these rules obviously won’t be there (for the championship).
“I’ve no issue with them at all. I probably would have suggested to just get on with it and put them in (for the league). If the governing body decides to change the rules of the game I don’t think managers should have a soap box to change them either way.
“I made my feelings known on behalf of the team to the county board and they then represented the county of Dublin. From my perspective, I’ve no issue with them.
“The only thing I would have said is maybe just get on with it and have the rules in for the championship. Some of our players have to go back and play Sigerson competition on Wednesday and then play with a different set of rules with club fixtures in the coming weeks. It’s a little bit confusing for them.”
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