Ballymun star set to make his mark for Dublin

Ballymun Kickhams clubman Jason Whelan will make his full debut for Dublin when they meet Mayo in tomorrow's Allianz League Division 1 semi-final at Croke Park (throw-in 3.45pm).

Whelan was used as a substitute during last weekend's draw with Donegal in Ballybofey, and he has been rewarded with a starting berth this week at the expense of Tomas Brady.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has made two changes to his team, the second switch seeing former Footballer of the Year Bernard Brogan return to the full-forward line alongside in-form duo Paul Mannion and Paddy Andrews.

Brogan missed the Dubs' last three league games due to a hip injury. He had been in brilliant form in the earlier rounds, leading the side's scoring with 2-28.

Kevin McManamon drops back to the bench to make way for Brogan at top of the left. Brogan scored 1-10 when the Dubs beat Mayo 2-14 to 0-16 at Croke Park in early March.

This will be the counties' third clash in eight months, having met in last year's All-Ireland semi-final which Mayo won by a point and in the league last month when Dublin won by four points.

Dublin's build-up to this weekend's rematch has been slightly overshadowed by an alleged biting incident from the Donegal game which left Paddy McBrearty needing treatment. The Central Competition Controls Committee are investigating the matter.

But Gavin says his panel's full focus is on the Mayo match, while also praising his opposite number James Horan for 'the great job' he has done with the Connacht champions.

"We've prepared for the game, you know. It's a great opportunity for the guys to be playing Mayo again," said Gavin.

"Mayo really have turned themselves into a very formidable side. Defensively, they are strong and aggressive, they have big men in the middle of the park and up front, who really hurt you if you give them space.

"We saw that when we played them six weeks ago. That game could have gone either way. James (Horan) has done a great job with them.

"They have been one of the most consistent teams over the last number of years. That was reflected in them getting to the league final and the All-Ireland final last year."

DUBLIN (NFL v Mayo): Stephen Cluxton; Kevin O'Brien, Jonny Cooper, Darren Daly; Philly McMahon, Ger Brennan, Jack McCaffrey; Michael Darragh Macauley, Cian O'Sullivan; Jason Whelan, Diarmuid Connolly, Paul Flynn; Paul Mannion, Paddy Andrews, Bernard Brogan.

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