Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park
DUBLIN’S UNDEFEATED STREAK stretched to 33 games last night with a performance that will go down as one of their greatest under Jim Gavin.
Gavin typically played down the manner of the victory, describing Dublin’s performance as “workmanlike” as the under-strength All-Ireland champions brushed aside what many consider to be their nearest challengers.
Mayo scored just twice in the opening period and no forward affected the scoreboard from play. Still, the Clondalkin man turned down the chance to heap praise on his rearguard.
“That’s the defence doing their job, that’s what we expect from them.”
One issue Gavin did look to highlight was Jack McCaffrey’s absence.
The former Footballer of the Year was rested after enduring a hectic weekend two weeks ago. McCaffrey played two games inside 24 hours for UCD as part of the Sigerson Cup weekend, where the Dublin college fell to St Mary’s in the decider.
“There’s so many experts in the science field in the universities but yet we see them putting players out to play back to back games on a Friday and a Saturday.
Gavin added: “You wouldn’t do it any other sport, you wouldn’t do it to a greyhound. To be asking inter-county footballers to play games like that, it’s not acceptable really.
“I hope the third level colleges change it because Paul Mannion suffered from it and Jack nearly did as well. So we just said we’d manage his load and take him off the field.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
“It’s not UCD’s problem, what can they do? They’re fulfilling the fixture.
“But it’s not acceptable. I wouldn’t do it with the U9s below at club, play games back to back. So why would we do it at that level where most of those players are senior club players at home with their clubs or they’re either playing with inter-counties?
“It’s just not good enough. And it’s the cumulative effect of the load. It’s not just the next day, it’s that impact that it has over time. I hope somebody looks at it.”
The Dublin boss confirmed that Cian O’Sullivan has resumed training with the squad, while Diarmuid Connolly will be rejoining them “very soon.”
James McCarthy hobbled off against Tyrone, and Gavin says he’s unlikely to feature next weekend.
“James got that kick on the leg a few weeks back, just this time of the season we’re not going to push anybody. I’m not sure if he’ll make the next game.”
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