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Joe Brolly Has His 'Suspicions' Regarding Absence Of Diarmuid Connolly

Joe Brolly Has His 'Suspicions' Regarding Absence Of Diarmuid Connolly

Although few fans of Dublin football will be seriously worried by Sunday's defeat to Monaghan in Croke Park, the uncertain status surrounding Diarmuid Connolly's future in Jim Gavin's plans is arousing concerns of its own.

Having endured a difficult 2017 championship, the St. Vincent's man was instrumental in helping Dublin overcome Stephen Rochford's Mayo in the eventual All-Ireland final.

Someone that Joe Brolly labeled a "brilliant footballer [with] a big-game temperament' on this week's Throw In podcast, the 30-year-old Dublin man has been notably absent throughout much of his side's run to another Allianz Football League final.

Speaking on the issue of Connolly's absence, Brolly had his own theory on what was occurring in the minds of Connolly, and, more crucially, Jim Gavin himself:

The wing-forward in the Dublin team is now being asked to perform a particular role up and down the sideline ... but to stay on the sideline.

I think Jim [Gavin] has made it pretty clear that Con O'Callaghan is his #11. I think Diarmuid would be quite happy to play at #10 so long as he was given a free role but, my reading is, that he will feel that role is too confined for him.

Diarmuid is a free-spirit, we've seen the way he playing hurling and football, we know he loves to play for his club; he rarely misses a club game in either code. My suspicion is that that is the problem.

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A question then of not being a suitable player for the structure Gavin wishes to implement, the RTÉ pundit conceded that irrespective of the "stunning" achievements Connolly has enjoyed with Dublin, picking a player on this basis is "really not how Jim Gavin works."

Still young enough to foresee another few years at inter-county level, it is possible that should Gavin continue to look beyond Connolly, the possibility of the multiple All-Ireland winner turning toward his fellow club-man, and the manager of the Dublin hurlers Pat Gilroy, in search of inter-county action becomes that bit more likely.

See Also: Richie Power Claims Anthony Nash Ball-Tampered During All-Ireland Quarter Final

Arthur James O'Dea

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