Pat Gilroy expected to make sensational return to Dublin squad as part of backroom team

Pat Gilroy is set to return to the Dublin senior football set-up© SPORTSFILE


Pat Gilroy looks set to make a sensational return to inter-county management with the All-Ireland SFC-winning manager hotly-tipped to link up with the Dublin footballers under Dessie Farrell.

Gilroy famously kicked off the decade of the Dubs when bringing Sam Maguire back to the capital in 2011 – their first All-Ireland triumph since he won one as a player alongside Farrell in 1995 – before later switching codes to manage the hurlers in 2018.

The St Vincent's clubman was one of the names touted to replace Jim Gavin after he stepped down at the end of 2019, but he now looks set to join forces with his successor Farrell.

Farrell enjoyed a dream debut season in 2020 as they landed their sixth All-Ireland in succession, but they have fallen on hard times by their high standards in the past two years with back-to-back losses in the last four and relegation to Division 2 of the League earlier this season.

Farrell's future was up in the air after the last year of his three-year term finished at the end of this season but he was given a vote of confidence by the Dublin County Board with a two-year extension and he looks set to throw everything at reclaiming their place at the All-Ireland summit in 2023.

That looks likely to include shaking up his management team, something which hasn't really happened during his reign to date with the core of his team – Mick Galvin, Brian O'Regan, Bryan Cullen and Darren Daly (added after his retirement in 2020) – remaining consistent.

From statisticians to physios and nutritionists, there has been plenty of turnover outside of the main management team so it will be fascinating to see what role Gilroy plays within the set-up.

It has been widely speculated that some of the Dublin squad were unhappy with the level of coaching in comparison to Gavin's all-conquering reign and Gilroy's expected presence could free up Farrell for a more hands-on role.

The Dubs are expected to make an extra effort at reclaiming Sam Maguire in 2023 with the returns of Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion already a welcome boost in the capital after both opted out in recent seasons.

Farrell and Gilroy were both contacted by this evening but neither were available for comment.

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