Fennell among those omitted from Gavin's Dublin panel


The reinvention of the Dublin football panel has begun, with new manager Jim Gavin assembling his first provisional squad which still features, despite some reports to the contrary, goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton.

Yesterday, however, Alan Brogan confirmed his own self-imposed break from the game, purely for fitness reasons, and spoke about some of the inevitable changes that Gavin has planned for 2013.

The list of players no longer part of his plans now includes Paul Brogan, Ross McConnell, Michael Savage and Eamon Fennell.

Tomás Quinn and Paul Casey have retired while Ciarán Kilkenny is Australia-bound..

“We had our first meeting last Friday, as a panel, and Jim was just outlining his plans for the next couple of months,” says Brogan, speaking at the renewal of the ESB’s sponsorship of the GAA.

“Jim made it clear it’s also open-ended, if guys show a bit of form, the door will always be open, but I think you need to freshen things up every year, just to keep the competition going for places in the team, and also in the squad.

“Jim is from an army background, very disciplined, and very focused and he’ll certainly leave no stone unturned. He has a huge passion for Dublin football. Any man who gives 12, 13 years playing, then goes managing an under-21 team before getting the senior job has to have a huge passion for what he is doing. If he can pass some of that passion to the players then it can only be a good thing.”

The speculation that Cluxton was somehow non-committal for 2013 surprised Brogan.

“I don’t know where it came from, because as far as I know, he is on board for next year. Obviously, he is a very big part of the panel and he still has a lot to offer. I think he spoke to Jim and committed, so I think it was a storm in a tea cup.”

Brogan also expects other more seasoned players such as Barry Cahill to be back next year too, although he admits it could be March before he returns to the panel as he sits out the pre-season training with a groin injury (osteitis pubis) that hampered his championship this summer.

“It’s a tricky injury, and I just need to give it as much time as I possibly can.

“It’s caused a lot of fellas a lot of trouble over the years, and we are hoping to do it the conservative way at the moment, if it doesn’t clear over time it may need an operation. It will need two or three months, so I won’t be playing in the O’Byrne Cup anyway.”

Brogan is sorry to see Ciarán Kilkenny depart for AFL club Hawthorn: “Disappointing to see him go, but I suppose the opportunity he has been given is very hard to turn down for any young footballer.

“Fellas as talented as Ciarán only come along every so often, and he would have had a huge part to play in Dublin football over the next couple of years.

“What I think went wrong for us this year was consistency, it just wasn’t there.

“The records show that even a Tyrone team that won three All-Ireland titles, and have probably been the best team in the last 10 years, couldn’t string titles back-to-back either,” added Brogan.

Weekend Fixtures


Waterford SFC final replay:Stradbally v The Nire, Fraher Field, 7pm


Kilkenny SHC final:Ballyhale Shamrocks v Dicksboro, Nowlan Park, 2.30.

Leinster Club SFC quarter-finals:St Patrick’s (Wicklow) v Portlaoise (Laois), Aughrim, 2.30; Emmet Óg Killoe (Longford) v Navan O’Mahony’s (Meath), Longford, 2.30; Sarsfields (Kildare) v St Patrick’s (Louth), Newbridge, 2.30; Mullingar Shamrocks (Westmeath) v Ballymun Kickhams (Dublin), Mullingar, 2.0

Connacht Club SFC semi-finals:Salthill-Knocknacarra (Galway) v St Brigid’s (Roscommon), Pearse Stadium, 2.30; Ballaghadereen (Mayo) v Curry (Sligo), McHale Park, 2.30 Munster Club SHC semi-finals: Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) v Sarsfields (Cork), Thurles, 2.0; Newmarket-on-Fergus (Clare) v De La Salle (Waterford), Sixmilebridge, 2.00

Ulster Club SFC quarter-final: Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) v St Eunan’s (Donegal), Crossmaglen, 2.30.

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