Ciaran Kilkenny in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final in Dublin
DONNCHADH BOYLE – 02 JANUARY 2014
DUBLIN football manager Jim Gavin has moved to quell any suggestion that Ciaran Kilkenny could play both codes for the county next year.
After the Dubs Stars challenge games in Clondalkin on New Year’s Eve, which saw the Light Blue hurlers and footballers pitted against some of the best club players in the county, Anthony Daly suggested that Kilkenny (below) hadn’t ruled out doubling up in 2014.
But Gavin ruled out any dual role for his players, reiterating his stance that combining both games wasn’t possible.
“I have said it before — at elite level, I don’t think it can be achieved,” Gavin said.
“We have always left it to the players to make that decision. We have set our plans as we did last year and our vision for the season and it’s up to the players to say, yeah, they want some of that or make a different decision.”
The Dublin manager also confirmed that he hadn’t talked to Castleknock star Kilkenny, who lined out for the footballers in Clondalkin, about his plans for this season.
“It hasn’t been discussed. We’ve only got the squad together over the last number of days and we are looking forward to the season ahead,” said Gavin.
“It’s a player’s choice if they want to play in whatever code.”
Dublin kick off their O’Byrne Cup campaign on Sunday with a trip to Mullingar to face Westmeath, who are now under the guidance of Paul Bealin, a team-mate of Gavin’s from Dublin’s 1995 All-Ireland success.
“It’s a great start to the season to go to a team that have been promoted to Division 1,” said Gavin.
“They didn’t show their true form against us in the championship last year, but that is in the past. They have a new management team and I’m sure there will be lots of vigour shown.”
“We’ve always supported the Sigerson Cup; it’s good for their socialisation, to mix with guys from other counties. It’s a very good standard of football,” said Gavin.
“And it’s an opportunity for fellas to stake a claim in the National League panel, which we won’t decide until the end of the O’Byrne Cup series.”
Gavin also confirmed that they were keeping tabs on the progress of Alan Brogan, who continues to recover from a groin injury that caused him to miss the whole of Dublin’s 2013 season.
“Alan’s going to do some gym work over the next month with physios and he’ll reassess it then and hopefully he’ll be in good shape to join us at some stage in the NFL,” he said.
“He just needs to go back into the gym. He had seven good games with Oliver Plunkett’s, which was great to see. He played very well and they finished strong and won the Division 2 final.
“That was good for him and good for the club, so his form is good. It’s just about bringing it up to the next level now — inter-county level — that’s the big challenge and he’ll make that call over the next month or so.”