Jim Gavin: Diarmuid Connolly is unavailable for selection

Dublin manager says door remains open for forward to return this summer

 Diarmuid Connolly  and Jim Gavin celebrate  Dublin’s Leinster Final win at Croke Park in 2014. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Diarmuid Connolly and Jim Gavin celebrate Dublin’s Leinster Final win at Croke Park in 2014. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Dublin manager Jim Gavin says the door “will always be open” for Diarmuid Connolly to return to the Dublin football team this summer despite his continued absence from both club and county.

The five-time All-Ireland winner hasn’t featured for Dublin since appearing as a substitute in the league win over Mayo back in February, and while originally reported to be “resting”, Gavin said that Connolly is presently not available for either intercounty or club action.

“The situation is that Diarmuid just hasn’t been available – to play club football, in the championship, football and hurling with his club, and with the county as well. We respect that position, and hopefully everyone does as well. It is an amateur sport, but that said, the door will always be open for Diarmuid, and I know for sure with the club and also the county, and hopefully we’ll see him back playing Gaelic games soon.”

While Gavin said he has been in regular contact with Connolly, he also noted: “I just hope we’ve a duty of care within the Association, for anyone who volunteers their time. It is an amateur sport, be it managers we have here today, that you respect them, and from a player perspective as well, and I hope people understand that. But in terms of the current squad, we’ve always embraced what we’ve had, and the focus is relentless on the game ahead of us.

“In terms of the current squad, we’ve always embraced what we have. The focus is relentless on the game ahead of us. That’s where their focus is now, on the game against Wicklow or Offaly. That’s where their drive is towards. Whoever we have in the squad. We’ve been faced with similar situations in the past and they just keep driving on.”

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