Denis Bastick looks set to commit to Dublin’s attempt for a third successive All-Ireland title after coach Paul Clarke suggested he won’t be dislodged from the panel.
According to the Independent, stand-in boss Clarke who lifted the O’Byrne Cup on Sunday suggested Bastick is in line to prolong his Dublin career. Many had expected the Templeogue Synge Street clubman to call time on his illustrious playing career following last year’s replay victory over Mayo with his ankle surgery looking like it may have signalled the end for the stalwart.
However, Clarke hinted that a number of players from the victory over Louth are on the fringes of breaking into Jim Gavin’s side but are still some bit behind the veteran midfielder. Bastick could miss the start of the league campaign having undergone ankle surgery but is expected to link up with the Dublin panel on his return despite the fact he will turn 36 during the league campaign.
However, Bastick looks nailed on for his place in another assault on the Championship in his attempt to claim a fifth All-Ireland title.
Since his Championship debut in 2009 against Meath, the powerful midfielder has also won an impressive six Leinster titles and will hope to add to his list of honours. Clarke’s words would suggest that Bastick is still firmly in the mind of Jim Gavin and that the quality he still possesses will continue to be utilised by the Dublin boss.
With Bernard Brogan set to carry on with the Dubs, Bastick’s inclusion in the Championship side will add to the depth and invaluable experience to what has been a dominant Dublin team. With the panel used in the O’Byrne cup campaign impressing, a number of first-choice stars could face growing competition over the coming months.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena