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'He Was In Touch To Say He’s Not Going To Be In Touch Anymore, Let Us Concentrate On The Club'

'He Was In Touch To Say He’s Not Going To Be In Touch Anymore, Let Us Concentrate On The Club'

Conal Keaney doesn't know if he will line out with the Dublin hurlers next year.

"I’ll see how the body is after this campaign. It’s been a hard enough campaign," Keaney said at an AIB event on Wednesday.

The campaign to which he refers is with his club, Ballyboden St. Enda's. This weekend, they face Kilkenny champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks, in the Leinster final.

Now 36, Keaney says his body is still in good shape. "It’s not too bad considering the amount of games we played."

Keaney returned to the Dublin hurling panel last year, two years after announcing his retirement from the inter-county game. He was one of Dublin's most important players as they finished fourth in the Leinster Championship group stage.

New Dublin manager, Mattie Kenny, has been in contact.

He was in touch, in touch to say he’s not going to be in touch anymore and let everyone concentrate on the club because he obviously knows that you don’t want to be distracted by the county when you’re still in with the club.

I think he’s respecting that, he’ll probably touch base with a lot of lads that he wants between now and Christmas, regardless of the result on Sunday.

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For Keaney, it was a surprise that Pat Gilroy stepped down after just a year in charge of the Dublin hurlers.

"It was unavoidable at work, he couldn’t get anyone else to do what he had to do over in the States or wherever it was in Africa, and he tried his best, to be fair to him, to see if it could work and it just was way too much.

"He knows himself and everyone around, that if you’re a manager, you need to be there 90% of the time and he wasn’t going to be there so he had to make a call on it."

Dublin opened this year's Leinster Championship campaign with a two-point defeat to Kilkenny at Parnell Park. It's a game Keaney believes they should have won.

"We should have closed out that game. We were relatively OK, comfortably on the scoreboard but we just let it slip in the last 10 minutes, nearly waited for them to come at us, instead of actually going and winning the game and then the other results didn’t go our way and it was just disappointing.

"Look, it was a small step forward from where it has been. I wouldn’t say that it was a successful year for Dublin but it was a step forward and we need to drive it on from now on. Whoever is going to be there needs to move it on.

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"It’s not good enough to get the clap on the back saying, ‘well done, you’d a great year’, if you didn’t progress out of the group, that’s not worth anything to anyone. But from where Dublin were at, I think Pat did a good job to make the platform for Dublin and I’m sure Mattie is going to drive it on now."

Ballyboden St Endas’ Conal Keaney is pictured ahead of the AIB GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final where they face Ballyhale Shamrocks on Sunday, December 2nd at Netwatch Cullen Park.

AIB is in its 28th season sponsoring the GAA Club Championship and will celebrate their 6th season sponsoring the Camogie Association. AIB is delighted to continue to support Senior, Junior and Intermediate Championships across football, hurling, and camogie.

For exclusive content and behind the scenes action throughout the AIB GAA & Camogie Club Championships follow AIB GAA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and www.aib.ie/gaa.

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

See Also: Gaelic Football Rule-Changes May Not Now Feature In National League

PJ Browne
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