Dublin hurler Liam Rushe has finally spoken out about his decision to wear ankle socks during his county's defeat to Galway a fortnight ago.
Rushe ditched his county socks for a far racier number in Tullamore, a move which was met with both astonishment and derision by GAA fans the country over on social media. The low-cut stocaí were chosen to combat blisters caused by new boots - which, incidentally, have since been plastered across every publication in the country including this one - but Rushe admits he underestimated the extent to which GAA fans take players' socks seriously.
Speaking at an Aer Lingus event promoting the airline's autumn transatlantic offers, Rushe vowed to continue on his courageous quest.
It was great craic. I’d underestimated how traditional the GAA still was. I’m going to have to stick with it now though. Make the statement, make the stand, keep it going.
I just felt like a woman in Saudi Arabia or something, flashing a bit of ankle. There was uproar over it.
Due to the incredulous reaction of fans - many of whom believed him to be making a fashion statement of some description - Rushe was forced to go into significant detail about his blisters, and explained how his problems began during Dublin's league campaign.
My other [boots] burst and there was only a week (left before the relegation playoff with Clare), so I’d just had two light sessions to wear them. The pitch (Ennis) had just hardened up.
We’d played on it two weeks previously and it was kind of soft. We went down then and it was rock hard, and my mouldies had gone the week before. That was it. I wasn’t making a fashion statement or anything!
The 26-year-old also defended manager Ger Cunningham in light of criticism regarding his handling of the Dublin hurlers - a panel which is lacking Danny Sutcliffe, Conal Keaney and the Schutte brothers to name but a few.
Rushe maintains various circumstances must be taken into account before the manager is blamed for such high-profile departures.
Selection decisions are obviously the management's and they live and die by those. But different players left for different reasons. They fell out over hugely different things.
You're only ever getting one side of the story. That's just the nature of it.