Rory O'Carroll rumours wide of the mark
By John Harrington
Rumours that Rory O’Carroll had moved home for good and might be available to play for the Dublin footballers again 2019 are wide of the mark.
The three-time All-Ireland medal winner and two-time All-Star last played for Dublin in the Championship in 2015 after deciding in early 2016 to move to New Zealand.
When he arrived back in Dublin recently the rumour-machine quickly cranked into gear, but his fellow Kilmacud Crokes clubman and former Dublin team-mate, Paul Mannion, has said there’s no truth in them.
According to Mannion, O’Carroll is only home for a wedding and is jetting back to the southern hemisphere “next week or the week after”.
Kilmacud play St. Sylvester’s in the Dublin SFC Quarter-Finals on Sunday, but Mannion doesn’t think O’Carroll will be playing for the club, never mind Dublin, in the near future.
“Not any time soon,” said Mannion. “Maybe next year at some stage, I think. I don't think football is at the front of his mind now. We'd love to have him back, especially with Crokes.
“I don't know what match fitness or shape he's in at the moment, whether he's match fit or not. No, I don't think he was looking to line out anyway.”
O’Carroll played with the Kilmacud Crokes team that won the All-Ireland Club Championship in 2009 and their last Dublin Senior Football Championship in 2010.
Since then they’ve reached the County Final on just one other occasion, in 2012, but Mannion – very much the star-man in the Crokes attack - believes they have a team capable of challenging this year.
“There is expectations there from the teams in the noughties that picked up a number of Championships back then,” he admitted.
“There's still a lot of that team remaining. We've got a nice balance of experience and a lot of young lads coming through as well.
“Definitely think we've got the team. Just probably have come up against some strong opposition in the last couple of years that are maybe a few steps ahead of us in development.
“Look, we're just trying to learn every year and the lads I think have picked up bits and pieces from those losses and hopefully we can just turn it into something good for this year.”