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Saturday 16 December 2017

Selection headache in store for Dubs boss

JONNY Cooper is expected to be fit and thus available for Dublin's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final on August 9 despite missing last Sunday's massive Leinster final win over Meath in Croke Park.

The Na Fianna defender was ruled out with what Jim Gavin described 
as "a soft tissue injury" but was amongst the panel as they warmed up pre-match.

In his stead, Mick Fitzsimons started at corner-back and mounted an impressive display marking Stephen Bray and holding Meath's most experienced forward to two points from play.

"Michael Fitzsimons is playing very well for us and Jonny Cooper had a soft tissue injury and wasn't available for selection," Gavin explained.

"We let it run to the last minutes. 
It just wasn't working out for him so it's a case of 'next player up' and Mick did a very good job."

dilemma

However, Fitzsimons' performance is likely to present Gavin with a dilemma now, with Cooper - arguably Dublin's best player this season - certain to return in defence for the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Cooper played several matches in this year's League at centre-back and could now be an option there if Gavin decides to reward Fitzsimons' with a start for his performance against Meath.

Ger Brennan was not part of the match-day squad, however, and is highly unlikely to be fit from his troublesome ankle injury in time to play any part in the quarter-final.

Paddy Andrews could also be back after taking part in the warm-up last Sunday, despite having his injured wrist in a protective cast.

Meanwhile, Croke Park have confirmed that Dublin's All-Ireland quarter-final will take place on Saturday, July 9 at 6.0, with Donegal's last-eight clash throwing in at 4.0.

At present, Dublin still have three potential opponents; Monaghan, Armagh or Kildare. Both matches will be screened by Sky Sports.

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