Gavin close to having full squad


The riches available to Dublin manager Jim Gavin are such he can afford to let a coin or two spill from his pocket and still march on regardless. Having already handed action to 24 players in Dublin’s opening two games of the National League, he’s now free of the tyranny of Sigerson Cup commitments and can soon hope to have something close to his first choice squad to pick from.

Last night was Dublin’s first training sessions since December 8th when Gavin reckoned he had as close to his full squad as possible to pick from. And that’s without the seven Ballymun Kickhams players he has told are in his plans.

“We won’t have them until a fortnight after St Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately for them, they’re out at the minute. One thing I’ve said to the players is that guys who are playing well will get the slots. That’s unfortunate for the Ballymun lads but that’s how it is.

“The players know that. If they play well and have consistency of performance, it’s up to the other guys then to fight for the spot. That philosophy is already in place. The Ballymun lads are a disadvantage in that respect.”

The reality is that Gavin has close on 50 players in mind for his championship squad and even at this early stage, he’s running out of games with which to whittle them down.

Ciarán Kilkenny has trained with the squad for the first time this week and old soldiers like Alan Brogan and Bryan Cullen are working their way back to full fitness by the week.

With so many moving parts, it might be tempting for Gavin to just get through the games and give himself and his team a pass when it comes to putting wins on the board.

But that way excuses lie. And excuses are no good to anyone.

“What we are saying to the players is results do count. It’d be ignorant for me to say that we’re not concerned about getting league points. But my job is to get the guys into a consistency of performance and have that staying with them the whole time.

“The way we see it is we have the next four games to try and get some consistency of performance. Hopefully results will follow. If they don’t, then we’ll have to look at the way we’re doing things.

“Getting four points in the bag is great but it’s just a start. We’re looking forward to trying to build on that and to try to get all the players involved in the tactical approach as well.”

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