• Home
  • /
  • GAA
  • /
  • Pat Gilroy's First And Biggest Task Will Be Enticing Available Talent Back To Dublin Hurling

Pat Gilroy's First And Biggest Task Will Be Enticing Available Talent Back To Dublin Hurling

Pat Gilroy's First And Biggest Task Will Be Enticing Available Talent Back To Dublin Hurling
Arthur James O'Dea
By Arthur James O'Dea
Share this article

With Pat Gilroy set to take charge of the Dublin senior hurlers, it is worth considering what the county board expect of a man whose experience is predominantly rooted in Gaelic football.

The manager of Dublin's All-Ireland winning footballers in 2011, the St. Vincent's man oversaw a revitalisation of the county's fortunes as they reclaimed the Sam Maguire cup after its 16 year absence from the capital.

Throughout Anthony Daly's six-year (2008-14) reign in charge of Dublin's hurlers, significant advances were made as the county claimed both a Leinster and National League title.

However, Ger Cunningham's spell in charge has coincided with a notable downturn in results and, crucially, enthusiasm for Dublin hurling.

Comparatively, the panel of players that Cunningham has left behind scarcely resembles that which Daly parted with 3 years ago.

With certain players hitching their wagon to Jim Gavin's footballing juggernaut, others simply falling out of favour with the new management setup, and some stepping back from the inter-county scene altogether, the Dublin hurling panel has the capacity to dramatically change with Cunningham's departure.

In Gilroy, the Dublin county board clearly believe they have a man who can galvanise the disparate elements of Dublin hurling and enable the county to compete once more with the country's strongest teams.


Looking at the group of players who worked with Daly until their All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tipperary in 2014, there are some notable names that may consider a return to the hurling set up in light of such a reputable managerial appointment.

Likely Recalls:

Danny Sutcliffe - 25

Paul Ryan - 28


Peter Kelly - 28

Paul Schutte - 28

Johnny McCaffrey - 30


Joey Boland - 29

Conor McCormack - 30

Colm Cronin - 22


Alan Nolan - 32 - Goalkeeper

A number of instrumental players to Daly's Dublin as they claimed the county's first Leinster championship in 52 years, both Sutcliffe and Kelly would go on to become All-Stars in 2013.

Yet, despite their successful spell, all of the above left Cunningham's Dublin for one reason or another during the Corkman's 3 year reign - usually citing 'personal differences' as the deciding factor.


McCaffrey acted as Dublin's captain for four years under Daly, but was deemed expendable to Cunningham's set up, while Paul Schutte and Boland were both starters as Dublin overcame Galway in Croke Park four years ago.

While the opportunity to rejoin a set up the likes of which Daly cultivated would surely tempt a number of these players in from the wilderness, Gilroy may well be a manager capable of doing just that.

The Hurling Footballers:

Can Pat Gilroy use his influence to lure some of the Jim Gavin's 3-in-a-row team from the big ball? Some have all the credentials to make a mark on hurling, and are either not getting a look in with the footballers, or might want to win All-Irelands in another code.


The Possibles: 


Mark Schutte - 25

Emmet O Conghaile - 24

Conor McHugh - 23

Eric Lowndes - 23

Schutte is obviously the most likely of these having left the hurling squad just this year, after winning the All-Ireland with Cuala.

He got off the bench against Carlow in Leinster, but didn't get a look in after that.

For the others, the leap would be a bit bolder, but certainly something that would be tempting under Gilroy.

Lucan Sarsfield's O Conghaile has four Leinster titles and two All-Irelands with the footballers but has never been a prominent first team member. He is someone that Anthony Daly singled out to us recently on his appearance on The Hurling Debate. 

Eric Lowndes and Conor McHugh played in All-Ireland minor hurling finals in 2011 and 2012, but at 23, both will see their chances of breaking into the Dublin first team as still alive.

While the All-Ireland medals are undoubtedly a temptation, another year or two on the fringes of Gavin's side may turn the heads of this trio, it would probably take a strong start under Gilroy to make this a tangible temptation.

The Highly Unlikelies:

Ciarán Kilkenny - 24

Cormac Costello - 23

Diarmuid Connolly - 30

Con O'Callaghan - 21

A mixture of youth and experience here, there are already quite a number of All-Ireland winners medals between these between these 7 members of Gavin's side.

In terms of hurling experience, O'Callaghan claimed an All-Ireland club hurling winners medal with Cuala in March, while Kilkenny and Costello have featured in All-Ireland finals at minor level with Dublin.

Unlikely to be joining up with the Dublin hurlers anytime soon, perhaps if they do get tired of collecting the Sam Maguire they could be tempted to join Gilroy in the hunt for Liam MacCarthy.

Diarmuid Connolly has 5 now after all.


Outside Shot: 

Rory O'Carroll - 27

O'Carroll was centre-back on the Dublin team that made the All-Ireland under 21 final in 2010. He has been AWOL from the Dublin footballers for two years now, having seemingly had enough of the constant strive for perfection under Jim Gavin. Maybe a return to the hurling scene under his former football manager would tempt him back to the inter-county scene.


So, while the latter groups might be a bit fanciful, it goes to show the depth of talent that exists in Dublin hurling. While they have been off the pace for a couple of years, they haven't been a million miles away either. If just some of the talent that is available returns, Dublin will be quickly a force to be reckoned with again.

Some of the players' blooded over the last three years mixed with the experience and freshness of those returning could make for an enticing combination for Gilroy and Anthony Cunningham.

If Sutcliffe, Kelly, and the Schuttes even return, Dublin are already Leisnter contenders.

See Also: Unlikely Duo Set To Take Over Dublin Hurling In The "Coming Days"



Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com