The Return Of Rory O’Carroll Is A Huge Boost To Dublin Ahead Of The Championship
All Ireland champions Dublin have received a huge boost ahead of the championship with the news that two time All Star and three time All Ireland winner Rory O’Carroll has returned to Dublin training.
The Kilmacud Crokes man attended a gym session last night with his Dublin team-mates and is expected to return to full training later this week when Gavin’s squad return to pitch training.
The 2015 All Ireland final against Mayo was O’Carroll’s last game for the the Sky Blues, the imposing number 3 left the panel and moved to New Zealand only returning earlier this year.
News that O’Carroll was back playing for his club Kilmacud Crokes with both the football and hurling teams got the rumour mill turning, he trained under manager Anthony Daly and played one hurling league game, but Daly confirmed O’Carroll stepped away to concentrate on football.
That news and two eye catching performances for Crokes in Group 1 of the Dublin Senior Football championship which sees Kilmacud top of the group with wins over Ballymun Kickhams and Na Fianna, indicated that a call up from Gavin was imminent.
Since Rory O’Carroll left the squad In 2015 and although Dublin have gone on to win three further All Ireland titles there is a perception that the Dubs defence is vulnerable under the high ball.
That notion increased during this seasons insipid Allianz League Division 1 campaign with Dublin struggling with ball pumped into the edge of the square and for the first time under the stewardship of Jim Gavin the Dubs lost three league games in the one campaign and failed to qualify for the final for the first time since 2012.
If the teak tough, commanding and imposing O’Carroll can push his way into the team in time for the Leinster quarter final against either Wexford or Louth in four weeks time that perceived weakness under the high ball would certainly be reduced enormously.
It is thought that Jim Gavin is a big fan of the Crokes man, O’Carroll won an U21 All Ireland in 2010 under Gavin and the following year won his first senior title when Pat Gilroy was in charge. He Sam Maguire twice more once again under the management of Jim Gavin in 2013 and 2105.
In what could be a momentous year for the Dubs as they chase an unprecedented five All Ireland’s in a row and considering their struggles earlier this year in defence under the high ball, the news that Rory O’Carroll has returned to the fold is a huge boost ahead of the championship and what he brings to the table may be a major factor in helping Gavin and his squad make history in the summer of 2019.