Key players return to face kildare

by Dave O'Connor

IN the midst of preparations for next Sunday’s Leinster Championship semi-final against Kildare, Dublin senior football boss and Clondalkin Round Towers legend Jim Gavin took time out to provide his thoughts on the Lilywhites as well as the much-debated championship structure.

The former Clonburris National School pupil is currently preparing his team to face a Kildare side who blitzed Laois in a stunning second-half performance in their quarter-final replay last Saturday, winning 3-19 to 1-11.

On the capitals next-door neighbours, Gavin said: “I’ve been impressed. I think they’ll have that advantage over us of having played two tough championship games. To have that momentum is invaluable.

“Their second-half performance against Laois was very impressive, 3-19 in any game is a great return. I think in both games they showed their experience and got bodies behind the ball and dug the result out. It’s going to be a big challenge next Sunday.”

Gavin will once again be without the services of Ger Brennan who is ruled out with a long-term achilles problem.

“He should be back very soon,” said Gavin. “I’d be hesitant to put an exact date in the calendar but he’s been working very closely with the athletics team. “He’s kept himself in good physical condition, done a lot of work in the gym, and his body composition is excellent,” Gavin continued.

Positive news on the injury front is that Kilmacud Crokes pair Rory O’Carroll and Cian O’Sullivan (both hamstring), and Denis Bastick (ankle) should be available.

With there being constant discussion that the senior football championship needs reform, the Dublin boss was quizzed for his thoughts on the matter.

“All I can do at the moment is focus on the current format,” he said.  When pushed on whether he thinks players deserve to play more than six games to win an AllIreland championship, Gavin said: “Oh

absolutely they do, yes.”

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