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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gilroy makes five changes

PAT Gilroy has made five changes to the Dublin team which beat Derry in their last National League outing as he takes his troops to Castlebar on Sunday with designs on keeping their 100 per cent record intact and ending an 18-year run without an away win against Mayo.

Back into goals comes Stephen Cluxton, despite an impressive display between the sticks from Michael Savage last time out. Philly McMahon resumes in the full-back line after missing out on the Derry win, with Rory O'Carroll excused from service owing to Dublin's U21 Leinster championship opener with Louth just 24 hours before.

Ger Brennan makes his first start of the season in place of James Brogan at left half-back, while David Henry and Paul Flynn rejoin the attack. Both players were named to face Derry but were left out as an injury precaution and their places were taken by Tiernan Diamond and Kevin Bonner, with Bonner retained for Sunday.

Michael MacAuley moves from centre-forward to the edge of the square, while former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has been named on the bench for the very first time after joining up with Gilroy's squad during the week.

The 22 year-old, who caused something of a stir last year by turning his back on a professional contract with Roy Keane's Championship club in favour of a return to Dublin, has recovered from a knee injury. In light of a string of impressive performances for St Brigid's, he has been named as replacement goalkeeper in a provisional subs list of 15 for Sunday.

However, there is no spot for Supple's clubmate, Barry Cahill, who returned to club action last Sunday after an abductor muscle injury.

Nor are there returns for experienced attackers Alan Brogan (scaphoid) and Conal Keaney (hamstring), though Darren Magee does make a swift comeback after a knee injury. Also included is Paddy Andrews, one of the four Dublin players invited to an AFL trial by Aussie talent scout, Ricky Nixon yesterday.

Andrews, along with Cian O'Sullivan, James McCarthy and Rory O'Carroll, have been identified as potential recruits by Nixon but, according to the agent himself, Gilroy threatened to drop any of the four if they attended yesterday's trial camp in Gormanstown.

"You can't dictate people's lives," slammed Nixon. "The point being, I don't know why he did that. The camp is one hundredth of what we're doing. The guys are still going to get all the things: the skills videos, all the drills and everything else. If they're good enough they'll still make it, so stopping a kid from coming has achieved nothing apart from, I reckon, putting egg on his own face."

DUBLIN (SF v Donegal): S Cluxton; P Conlon, M Fitzsimons, P McMahon; P Griffin, C O'Sullivan, G Brennan; E Fennell, R McConnell; A Hubbard, P Flynn, K Bonner; D Henry, M MacAuley, K McManamon. Subs: S Supple, C McCormack, N O'Connor, H Gill, K Nolan, P Casey, J Brogan, D Carrigan, D Magee, C Murphy, T Diamond, B Brogan, D Kelly, B McManamon, P Andrews.

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