New Dublin football manager Jim Gavin has said he will not be putting pressure on any dual player, including Ciarán Kilkenny, to choose to play for the county footballers ahead of the hurlers.
Kilkenny announced last week that he would not be returning to Australia to continue his AFL career with Hawthorn, and Gavin insists that the Castleknock star, along with all other dual players, will have to decide for himself where his playing priorities lie.
"I met Ciarán over recent days and we had a chat about his experiences in Australia, particularly on the football side.
"He has made enough statements about his passion and his grá for Gaelic Games and the language, which is commendable for a guy of such young years", said Gavin.
"Ciarán has prioritised that he wants to play with his club Castleknock and the Dublin U21 and senior football teams, and the U21 hurlers as well, so he has a lot on his plate."
When questioned by RTÉ Sport’s John Kenny as to whether Kilkenny would be fully concentrating on football, or would he dovetail football commitments with hurling, the Dublin supremo was adamant that this was a decision that players have to take themselves, and he would put no pressure on any player to choose the big ball over the small.
"I have heard the word compromise being mentioned but I don’t think it’s a case of compromise. It’s a case of an individual making priorities.
"In every county, and particularly in Dublin, there are a lot of dual players and I certainly do not put them under any pressure whatsoever to play one sport, be it football or hurling. They are individuals and it is their life and their sporting careers. They need to make that decision for themselves.
"All I can do as manager and leader of the team is to set out my vision and goals and the plans that I have and the players can either be part of that or not. I don’t put them under any pressure and Ciarán is no different to anyone else who would be considered a dual player.
"They need to make the decision for themselves and what is best for the individual."