Dublin Minor Football boss Tom Gray has been confirmed as Dublin’s U20 football manager for 2018.
The Na Fianna man steered the minors to success in this year’s Leinster championship before the young boys in blue narrowly defeated by Derry in their All-Ireland semi-final.
And the future is looking bright for the new U20’s. Ross McGarry (Ballyboden St Enda’s) was selected on this year’s Electric Ireland Minor Star Football Team of Year along with Peader O’Cofaigh Byrne (Cuala) while James Doran (Na Fianna) was considered very unlucky not to have been named in the 15.
The Dubs may have to plan without James Madden from Ballyboden St Enda’s and Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne, who both impressed in the recent Aussie Rules combine hosted in UCD.
James Madden broke the all-time 0-20 metre record when clocking 2.68 and both players are believed to be in strong contention for invites to attend the AFL Academy at the IMG in Florida in January – the last stage before Aussie Rules contracts are offered.
Both players will sit their Leaving Cert in June 2018.
But the good news is six members of this year’s U21 All-Ireland winning panel are eligible for the U20s next year.
Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)
Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)
Seán Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)
Cormac Howley (Round Tower, Lusk)
Aaron Duffy (Round Tower, Lusk)
Aaron Bradshaw (Ballinteer St John’s)
Evan Comerford is known to many as substitute goal keeper on the senior All Ireland winning panel this year, however one of the rules of the U20 competition is that any player part of a senior panel that is named in the match-day 26 in next year’s SFC is deemed ineligible.
Two other players who are eligible for U20 action next year – Kevin Callaghan and Mal Tighe (both St Brigid’s) – lined out for the Dublin senior football selection that defeated UCD’s Sigerson side in the official opening of David Billings Park in Belfield, UCD last Thursday night.
Dublin have drawn Longford, Wexford and Westmeath for the 2018 Leinster U20 Football Championship which will commence in late May. The top two teams in each of the four-county groups advance to the knockout stages and the winners to the semi-final, second-placed to the quarters.
Dublin’s schedule in the round-robin is:
Monday, May 28th Away v Longford
Monday, June 4th Home v Westmeath
Saturday, June 16th Away v Wexford
The quarter-finals for those involved take place on June 22nd/23rd with the semi-finals a week later and the provincial decider on July 7th.