Gavin's challenge to young Dublin players

Jim Gavin's Dublin face Cork on Saturday night

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has challenged his players to prove themselves in the Allianz Football League which gets underway this weekend.

The new Dublin boss has players that featured in Under-21 side he managed prior to taking the senior role at his disposal, including Dean Rock, Cormac Costello and Ciarán Kilkenny, and he has warned that past achievements will matter little in his selection process over the season.

He told RTÉ: "At any county that has success at underage level, there is always the challenge to get players to step up to the next grade.

"We’ve seen that all provinces, there are no guarantees. We’re fighting for young guys and girls in Dublin to get them to play Gaelic Games. It is always a challenge for us.

"There are other distractions for us that other counties might not have.

"The National League is a great opportunity for me to try to transition these guys from their underage performances into competitive Division 1.

"It was great to see Ciaran playing for his club Castleknock against Kenmare in the All-Ireland semi-final last weekend.

"They are up for a replay this weekend. Ciarán has expressed his grá for Ireland, his grá for Gaelic Games and he is a true Gael. It is great to have him back.

"For any player in the Dublin squad who has an All-Ireland medal, at any level, they all have to fight for their place. That is all in the past. There is no exceptions for any player."

Dublin’s first league outing is a tussle with holders Cork.

The Rebels have dominated the competition with three wins in succession and Gavin feels it is a good way to start the campaign.

"It is a great opportunity for the Dublin players. Cork have been the standard-barer in the National League and they know Croke Park so well so it is going to be as much of a home game for them as it is for us.

"It is a great opportunity for the Dublin players to show their wares to me and a great opportunity for the manager to have a look at the players."

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