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Tuesday 30 May 2017

O'Shea: Our focus is fully on Galway

Dublin U21 joint-captain Cillian O’Shea.
Dublin U21 joint-captain Cillian O’Shea.

Dublin under-21 co-captain Cillian O'Shea insists the squad remains "fully focused" on next Saturday's EirGrid All-Ireland final against Galway in Tullamore despite the furore of the past few days.

As has become apparent these past couple of evenings, reports that the Dublin U21 panel had pulled en masse from their respective clubs' opening round Championship matches proved totally inaccurate.

Some, like O'Shea, sat it out.

Others, like Ballyboden duo Shane Clayton and Colm Basquel, as well as Whitehall's Tony O'Sullivan were required and thus pressed into action.

As O'Shea explained at yesterday's press launch of ahead of next Saturday's decider against the Tribesmen, the situation was much more nuanced than originally reported.

"It didn't really happen like that," he outlined. "It wasn't really individuals pulling out or anything like that. We put in a request for the games involving the under-21s to be deferred."

This, he felt, was a reasonable enough request to make.

"And the clubs were fully supporting that as well. The clubs were writing in and the request wasn't granted so the decision then on Tuesday night was that we were going to make ourselves available and then individual cases were different depending on who was playing who.

"So it was just communication with the management of each individual club and each individual situation and then managed from there as to how much game-time everyone would get."

O'Shea, Tom Fox and Dan O'Brien were all unused substitutes for Kilmacud Crokes on Thursday night in their one-sided victory over Erin's Isle in O'Toole Park.

A fourth member of Dessie Farrell's U21 squad, Callum Pearson, did feature.

That Pearson was one of three Crokes players to score a hat-trick of goals on an evening their team tallied 10-12, which shows that the rest weren't exactly required.

Shane Clayton, lasted just 16 minutes of Ballyboden's defeat to St Oliver Plunkett's/ER in Parnell Park and having played only the final minutes of Dublin's All-Ireland semi-final victory over Donegal in Cavan last week, after a spell out through injury, now looks set to miss the final.

"He was coming back from a hamstring and it looks as if he might have done a bit more damage on it," O'Shea confirmed.

"So that's disappointing for him."

Naturally, Dublin's preparations for the All-Ireland final have been disturbed somewhat but as O'Shea pointed out: "It would have been light enough this week anyway.

"It would have been mostly recovery from the last game.

"It's just a small thing and we just have to get on with it.

"And," he concluded, "the media stuff about players withdrawing isn't really affecting anything. We're just looking forward."

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