Pat Gilroy is first out of the traps with his team announcement for Sunday’s NFL clash with our lads in McHale Park. The Dubs have five changes from the team that beat Derry at Parnell Park in their last outing, with Stephen Cluxton, Philly MacMahon, Ger Brennan, David Henry and Paul Flynn all coming in instead of Michael Savage, Rory O’Carroll, James Brogan, Tiernan Diamond and Blaine Kelly. Dublin’s line-up is as follows:
Dublin (NFL Division 1 v Mayo): Stephen Cluxton (Parnells); Paul Conlon (St Vincents), Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), Philly MacMahon (Ballymun Kickhams); Paul Griffin (Kilmacud Crokes), Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes), Ger Brennan (St Vincents); Eamon Fennell (O’Tooles), Ross McConnell (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh); Alan Hubbard (Ballymun Kickhams), Paul Flynn (Fingallians), Kevin Bonner (St Brigids); David Henry (Raheny), Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Endas), Kevin McManamon (St Judes). Subs: Shane Supple (St Brigids), Conor McCormack (St Mary’s, Saggart), Neil O’Connor (Naomh Barróg), Hugh Gill (St Vincents), Kevin Nolan (Kilmacud Crokes), Paul Casey (Lucan Sarsfields), James Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh), Denis Carrigan (St Mary’s, Saggart), Darren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes), Colm Murphy (St Judes), Tiernan Diamond (St Vincents), Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh), Dean Kelly (Trinity Gaels), Brendan McManamon (St Judes), Paddy Andrews (St Brigids).
That’s a chunky old subs’ bench, both in number and in heft. In terms of the former, it’s a full fifteen so maybe Pat is looking to bend the rules and pull the same stunt that he did at that challenge match against us in Portmarnock last May where he fielded entirely different teams for the two halves. While the appearance on the bench of ex-Ipswich ‘keeper Shane Supple is grabbing the headlines, there are two Brogans hidden in there too, as well as a couple of the Vins’ lads and Paddy Andrews. Apparently established players such as Barry Cahill, Conal Keaney, Bryan Cullen, Denis Bastick and Mossy Quinn are all, for one reason or another, unavailable for selection while Rory O’Carroll is on U21 duty. Never mind, the lot of them wouldn’t have fitted on the bus anyway.
I understand we’ll be naming our starting fifteen later on this evening. There’s still no word about how Mark Ronaldson’s appeal went last night but I guess we’ll know when we see the teamsheet. I see that our old pal Pat McEnaney (who’ll have to retire at the end of this season under the new age limits being put in place for refs) wants the disciplinary process speeded up and tightened up and, while we’ll all go to our graves disagreeing with his decision to send off Liam McHale in the 1996 replay, I think it’s obvious that what Pat has to say on this issue makes a fair bit of sense. They could also, while they’re at it, do with putting in place some kind of communications policy in this area because, as things stand, trying discover what’s going on with suspensions is akin to attempting to unearth the Third Secret of Fatima.