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Sunday 20 May 2018

'League should be played off in seven weeks,' says Gavin

Kildare's Daniel Flynn and Dublin's Stephen Cluxton chat as they depart the pitch after Saturday night's NFL1 duel in Croke Park
Kildare's Daniel Flynn and Dublin's Stephen Cluxton chat as they depart the pitch after Saturday night's NFL1 duel in Croke Park

Dublin won't alter their Allianz League approach just because the schedule has been compressed or because a busier 'Super 8' summer is in the offing.

That was the message from Jim Gavin after their second half blitz of Kildare - a game that wouldn't happen in January if the Dublin boss had his way.

"I've said it before, I don't understand why we play football in January. The players should be with their clubs," he declared.

"We just play seven games in the league, it should take seven weeks.

"It shouldn't be we play three games, take a break of two weeks, play another two and take a break of two weeks and play another two.

"To me it doesn't make sense - I know some might say there's reasons behind it. And in terms of championship," he added, "our focus is on our first game and we don't see any difference in how we'll approach it."

Gavin dismissed recent conjecture that this year's league might lack some of its usual bite, declaring: "Division 1 has always been competitive so long as I've been involved in it. We have some cracking games to look forward to."

The Dublin manager confirmed that everyone is back training apart from Shane Carthy (St Vincent's) and Jack McCaffrey as he recuperates from ACL surgery.

Erroneous

He also clarified that his team of selectors remains the same, contrary to an erroneous pre-match message on the big screen that didn't list Jason Sherlock - Jayo's touchline presence clearly told a different story.

Michael Darragh Macauley's fitness will be assessed after he "rolled his ankle" whereas Kildare boss Cian O'Neill was "gutted" for Neil Flynn after his hamstring woes returned within minutes of throw-in.

"He's done a really good rehab plan, he wasn't rushed back," O'Neill explained.

"I'm just devastated for him."

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