Dublin boss Jim Gavin fielded just two of his All-Ireland winners in a 0-12 to 0-11 O’Byrne Cup win over Westmeath on Sunday, then challenged those who play to force their way into his thinking for the forthcoming National League campaign.
A late Ciaran Kilkenny point won the day for the new look Dubs and Gavin commented, “The new players and a lot more have shown great attitude last year and again over the last week. They’re very determined to push on and stake for claims for National League and Championship, and there are no guarantees for any player that played last year.
“For us, 2013 is definitely in the past and we’re looking forward to getting ourselves set up for the National Football League.
“It’s a pre-season tournament and it’s there to try players out and to give them an opportunity to stake a claim for a squad place during the Allianz National League.
“We took the same approach last year and we got a good few players from it. We’re only back eight days and there were a lot of technical errors in handling, kick-passing and shooting but that’s to be expected.”
Gavin has dismissed speculation that Ciaran Kilkenny will be able to combine hurling and football for the capital teams this year. The Dubs boss has also confirmed that Alan Brogan is to play on in 2014.
“Alan is going to come back and do some gym work in the next month, work with the physios and hopefully he will be in good shape to join us at some stage in the NFL,” Gavin said.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?