Diarmuid Connolly: 'I'm not a cynical player by nature'

The Dublin forward was black carded against both Monaghan and Kerry during the League final

Diarmuid Connolly

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Diarmuid Connolly insists he's 'not a cynical player by nature' and says his recent black card against Kerry came as a result as a 'rush of blood' to the head. 

The Dublin footballer was dismissed during the first half of the Division 1 League Final two almost weeks ago, a game which the reigning league champions would go on to lose by a solitary point. 

The 29-year-old has previously been in the spotlight for his disciplinary record, picking up red cards against Donegal in the quarter-final of the All-Ireland last year, as well as against Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final replay in 2015.

At club level with St. Vincent's, he has also incurred the wrath of referees and was shown red during the Dublin SFC final replay against Ballymun Kickhams four years ago.

"I felt like I started well in the game and I was moving well," he said. "A little bit of a rush of blood under the Cusack Stand curtailed me just before half-time. 

"Looking on, it wasn't easy. But these things happen. Of course you're frustrated. I've looked back at the game and I've no arguments about it.

"It was a black card under the letter of the law so you have to suck it up, learn, and move on. That's all you can do."

Diarmuid Connolly is black carded during Dublin's defeat to Kerry in the Division 1 League Final at the beginning of April. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

More recently, Connolly was dismissed for what was deemed a cynical challenge during Dublin's clash with Monaghan. He insists, however, that he isn't that type of player.

"I don't think I'm a cynical player by nature. A lot of my strengths are going forward and attacking and stuff like that. 

"We've a couple of games coming up now in the club championship and I just want to prepare well for them and hopefully stay on the field for them and then we'll roll into the Championship with the Dublin team."

Connolly dismissed criticism from former Dublin goalkeeper John O'Leary who claimed that to be considered a truly great player, his disciplinary record would need to improve.

"That's external stuff, I can't control that. I actually didn't read John O'Leary's piece. I can't really comment on something I don't know. I don't know what he said.

"You guys can make what you want of it. At the end of the day it's two black cards, that's all I can say about that."

Diarmuid Connolly was speaking at the launch of the Beko Club Bua award scheme, a new club accreditation and health check system coordinated by Leinster GAA for clubs in the province. For more information visit Leinstergaa.ie.

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