Yet Another Former Player Rejoins Pat Gilroy's Dublin Panel

Yet Another Former Player Rejoins Pat Gilroy's Dublin Panel

Pat Gilroy's managerial tenure with Dublin's senior hurlers has got off to as good a start as could have been expected.

While the Walsh Cup scarcely offers a blueprint for Championship hurling, two convincing wins against Meath and Antrim have perhaps allayed any initial fears Gilroy's unorthodox appointment may have inspired.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Gilroy's tenure thus far has been the re-recruitment of many hurlers who had grown weary with the Dublin set-up under Ger Cunningham's three-year spell in charge.

The decision to employ the 2011 All-Ireland football-winning manager Gilroy had always seemed based on his capabilities to draw in such figures, and, as the beginning of the National League looms, another of Dublin's Leinster Championship winning side of 2013 has returned to the fold; Na Fianna's Joey Boland.

After news earlier this week that 35-year old Conal Keaney also became a new old recruit to the panel, the 30-year old Boland joins what is an unmistakable effort on Gilroy's attempt to give Dublin hurling the very best chance it can have of progressing to the heights Anthony Daly had brought them to earlier this decade.

Alongside Keaney and Boland, Alan Nolan, Peter Kelly, Shane Durkin, Paul Ryan, Danny Sutcliffe, Johnny McCaffrey and Daire Plunkett have all returned to the panel under Gilroy.

It is a contingent that may yet grow further still; Colm Cronin, Mark and Paul Schutte are also expected to be sounded out regarding their interest in a return as soon as Cuala's All-Ireland club campaign ends.


In Boland, Gilroy will have a player who fell foul of Cunningham's preference for introducing a younger breed of hurlers to Dublin's starting-XV.

However, with an inter-county career that started 11 years ago, Gilroy has located a player whose experience is tinged with Dublin's most-recent successes, and, with the quality of opponents in Leinster alone escalating to a competitive level previously lost during Kilkenny's dominance, Boland will be a welcome return.

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Arthur James O'Dea

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