Fitzsimons says Connolly could go straight back into Dublin team

09 August 2017

Dublin's Cian O'Sullivan, Diarmuid Connolly, Michael Fitzsimons and Eric Lowndes celebrate.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Michael Fitzsimons isn't ruling out the prospect of Diarmuid Connolly going straight back into the Dublin team against Tyrone later this month.

The controversial St. Vincent's clubman is available for selection for the eagerly-awaited All-Ireland SFC semi-final on August 27 after serving a 12-week ban for putting his hand on linesman Ciaran Brannigan during Dublin's Leinster SFC quarter-final against Carlow on June 3.

Former Dublin manager Paul 'Pillar' Caffrey reckons Jim Gavin faces one of the biggest decisions of his managerial career over whether to start Connolly against the Red Hands, while Fitzsimons said at the launch of the 22nd annual Asian Gaelic Games, which are sponsored by FEXCO, that the wing forward's availability has created a welcome headache for the management.

"It's just another headache for management," the Cuala defender said.

"It means there's more competition there so it's great, everyone will have to up their performance again. He's doing a good bit of work so he's in good shape."

With Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Flynn coming off the bench in last Saturday's comfortable quarter-final win over Monaghan, Dublin are expected to be at full strength for the meeting with the Ulster champions.

"It's a breath of fresh air when someone comes back," Fitzsimons added.

"Getting two or three lads back is definitely strengthening us. Everyone knows they have to up their game.

"I had a good run of games in the league, which helps you coming into championship. I probably learned a few things and added them to my game."