Former Donegal captain Kevin Cassidy was on Tuesday’s OTB AM and spoke about the return of Diarmuid Connolly to the Dublin panel.
While Cassidy understood that opposition fans wouldn’t want to see Connolly coming off the bench against their side, he contended that neutrals would want to see Dublin’s prodigal son.
“For anyone in Croke Park or anyone sitting at home watching these games, you want to watch Diarmuid Connolly playing football. He’s one of the very best who’s ever played the game in my opinion.
“At the end of the day it’s about the size five O’Neills and if you give that man the ball he’s going to do magical things,” Cassidy said.
The Gaoth Dobhair man also suspected that Connolly’s return has been on the agenda for a while, with Dublin’s tight-lipped approach keeping news well away from the ears of the public.
“I actually think Diarmuid’s been back a lot longer than we’ve been led to believe. I don’t think we’ll see him this weekend because it’s a bit early after the announcement but I think we’ll see him in the last Super 8 game.
“He’s been back in training with Dublin and nobody has heard anything until Jim [Gavin] released it. That’s the mentality those guys have. If there was any disgruntlement or anyone unhappy that he’s back we would’ve heard something, you know?” Cassidy commented.
While it has been discussed that Connolly coming in from the cold and being chosen ahead of players who have been consistently around the Dublin camp, Cassidy rejected these notions.
“I think if you’re part of that squad you know Diarmuid, you know what he can bring.
“If you’re in that Dublin squad and you know deep down in your heart that he’s better than you and he’s delivering, then at the end of the day I don’t think you’d have a problem with him playing,” Cassidy said.
Dublin take on Roscommon in the second round of the Super 8s this Saturday and while it may well be too early to expect to see Connolly out on the pitch just yet, there’s sure to be plenty of speculation around whether the St. Vincent’s man will make an appearance.