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08th Jan 2024

The inevitable has begun as players opt out of Dessie Farrell’s Dublin team

Lee Costello

“A hugely committed character who’ll be a big loss to this squad.”

Reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin boast some of the most successful players in their squad, but also some of the oldest, so it was inevitable that a few would opt out of Dessie Farrell’s panel.

The likes of Stephen Cluxton, James McCarthy and Mick Fitzsimons have been serving for their county for well over a decade, and with a record breaking nine All-Ireland titles each, you do wonder when they will decide to finally call it a day.

So far they have not shown any signs of retiring, despite not playing in Dublin’s O’Byrne Cup opener against Offaly, but other have made that decision to leave the panel.

The inevitable has begun as players opt out of Dessie Farrell’s Dublin team.

Eight time All-Ireland winner Davy Byrne has decided to leave on his travels, while 31-year-old Ryan Basquel has officially hung up his boots for the Boys in Blue.

“Obviously we’ve been back training a couple of weeks now, there’s still some bodies, some of the more senior lads to make decision and we’re going to give them that space,” Farrell told DubsTV.

“Typically they wouldn’t be used in the early rounds of the league anyway because they’ve a lot of mileage on the clock at this stage, so managing their load and having them right for the right time of the season is going to be important.

“We do know Davy Byrne won’t be available this season, he’s gone travelling and that’s been on the cards for a while. Davy is taking a year out.


“Ryan Basquel has decided to hang up the boots as well. Ryan has been involved with the panel for the last number of years and a great servant to Dublin football. A hugely committed character who’ll be a big loss to this squad.

“Outside of that we’ve still a couple of weeks to see how the cards fall for some of the senior guys. We just want to give them the time that we feel they deserve, get over the Christmas and new year and that space that’s needed to make a big decision like that.”

Of course last year Farrell’s squad was boosted with the news that Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion made the decision to come out of retirement, so although there is the potential for me players to leave in 2024, there could also be room for more to come back in.

Cluxton famously didn’t rejoin the team until the last game of the National League, coming out of retirement after three years away from the inter-county game, so when it comes to Dublin, anything can happen at any time.

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