Published: 08:53 | 16/1/19

Connell unsure of Connolly return


Senan Connell does not expect Diarmuid Connolly to feature in Dublin's push for a fifth successive All-Ireland title.

Connolly opted out of the Dublin squad during the early stages of the 2018 Allianz Football League campaign and spent the summer in Boston, which meant he missed out on another All-Ireland medal.

He has yet to return to the panel and Connell believes the St Vincent's clubman is no longer part of Jim Gavin's plans for the Metropolitans.

"From my own personal point of view, I can't see it, just adding up bits and pieces. There's not much comes out of that camp, but I find it difficult to see Diarmuid coming back and I haven't heard anything to the contrary," Connell is quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.

"What we do know is that Jim Gavin is ruthless and he will be looking forward.

"I'd love to see him back in a Dublin jersey. I think he's the most talented and the most influential player that we could have in a time when scores were needed - like against Mayo the year before. He can turn a game in an instant."

While selector Declan Darcy hinted that Connolly could make his return in 2019, Connell is not convinced especially as Brian Howard enjoyed a successful season for the Boys in Blue.

"I've played on teams where that genius who might be a bit of a - I'm not going to say Diarmuid's a loose cannon - but the guy who might be a loose cannon needs a different sort of management," Connell added.

"Players would accept that he is different and would accept that he, maybe, lives by different rules and you play him and he plays well.

"I'm not sure whether that's Jim's way really. And the fact that Brian Howard has done a job and Jim was looking for the next replacement up there in that front six? I can't see it happening, I can't see him coming back.

"I think Jim's motto is 'there's no stars on this team - we'll win with or without you'. I think he's proven that last year."

Senan Connell will form part of eir sport's coverage for the Allianz Football League, coverage gets underway with a double-header on Saturday, 26 January. Subscribe here

Image: Inpho Photography/Morgan Treacy

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