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Dublin senior team gives youth a chance

By Conor Lennon

Jim Gavin, the new manager of Dublin's senior football team Photo by Mick McGly

Dublin’s senior footballers look set to give young players a chance next year as new manager, Jim Gavin, begins to assemble his squad for the 2013 season.

Last month a provisional squad of 50 players met to discuss the
management’s plans for the coming year, among them were last year’s minor stars
Cormac Costello and Eric Lowdes. Several of Gavin’s winning 2012 All Ireland
under-21 team were also present, including Kevin O’Brien, Emmet Ó
Conghaíle, Gary Sweeney and Jack McCaffrey.

Obvious absentees from the meeting were Paul Casey and Mossy Quinn, who
have retired, as well as midfielder pair Ross McConnell and Eamon Fennell, forward Paul Brogan and sub-keeper Michael Savage.

Rumours of veterans Stephen Cluxton and Barry Cahill’s retirement proved
false as both have committed to another year with the team.

Tomas Brady was also present after making himself available for Dublin’s
footballers this year. Brady was full-back on the Dublin team that won the
Allianz National Hurling League in 2011, but has switched codes after a
disappointing year with Antony Daly’s charges.
Another addition is the return of goalkeeper, Shane Supple, after dropping off
Pat Gilroy’s panel early last year.

The overall feeling is that Gavin will look to young, attack-minded players
such as Dean Rock, Paddy Andrews and Craig Dias to supplement the defensive
system adopted under Pat Gilroy. Rock in particular looks set to make the
step up after helping Ballymun Kickhams to their first senior title in 27
years.

One player Gavin will have to do without this year is Ciaran Kilkenny as
the Castleknock dual star, who started last year’s All Ireland semi-final
against Mayo, begins the first year of his contract with AFL side Hawthorns
in Melbourne.

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