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Ger Cunningham Steps Down As Dublin Hurling Manager

Ger Cunningham Steps Down As Dublin Hurling Manager
By Cian Roche

After a disappointing summer for Dublin hurling, Ger Cunningham confirmed on Saturday morning that he was stepping down as manager.

Having spent three years at the helm, Cunningham's reign comes to an inglorious end off the back of a 22-point defeat to All-Ireland champions Tipperary in the qualifiers.

A humiliation in Semple Stadium was the final act for Cunningham and in a statement released by Dublin GAA, he said the time was right to go.

Following on from recent discussions with the Dublin County Board, I wish to confirm that we have agreed by mutual consent not to extend my role as manager of the Dublin senior hurling team beyond 2017.

It has been an honour and indeed a privilege to manage the team and as I leave I have nothing but admiration for the squad of players who have represented Dublin with pride and passion. I want to thank them for their commitment both on and off the field.

I also want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of my backroom teams over the last three years for their time and dedication to Dublin hurling. Their professionalism and counsel throughout our time together has been invaluable.

Dublin picked up just one win from their Championship campaign this season, victory over Laois in the first round of the qualifiers.

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They were also relegated from Division 1A of the National Hurling League, with four defeats from their five matches.

Cunningham dismissed any criticism of the commitment of his players.

There has been a lot of speculation about different aspects of Dublin hurling over the last few months. For the record every decision that my backroom team and I made was always in the best interests of Dublin senior hurling.

Furthermore, Dublin hurling supporters should be in no doubt that this group of players have massive desire to represent Dublin and possess huge dedication and commitment to their county.

It's true that there has indeed been speculation for some time over the mood within the camp. Last November, former Dublin hurler Michael Carton gave his experience of the "toxic" environment within Dublin hurling.

All he wanted me to be was a back-up full-back. After giving 13 years to Dublin hurling, I wasn't going to accept it. I was going home angry, all the time, so it was time to bow out.

I became a little unsure of the direction Dublin was going.

For me it was a toxic environment. There was no clarity, people weren't getting on, and it just wasn't a nice place to be. It's too much commitment to give when you're not enjoying it.

Cunningham's three years in charge has seen an exodus of players from the inter-county set-up.

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