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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Dalo pucks to touch on his old Dubs post

Former boss insists he hasn't thought about a possible Sky Blue comeback

Pictured at the eir Sport pack season launch was eir Sport hurling analyst Anthony Daly. eir Sport have announced an exciting line-up of live content for the new season on the eir Sport Pack - UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Premier League, rugby’s European Champions Cup, the AIB Club Championships and the Allianz Leagues will all form part of a bumper season ahead.
Pictured at the eir Sport pack season launch was eir Sport hurling analyst Anthony Daly. eir Sport have announced an exciting line-up of live content for the new season on the eir Sport Pack - UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Premier League, rugby’s European Champions Cup, the AIB Club Championships and the Allianz Leagues will all form part of a bumper season ahead.

It may not be the first question asked of Anthony Daly yesterday but that's merely a tactical ploy on behalf of his inquisitors. It is, for sure, the query they would love him to answer.

Will the former Dublin hurling boss be the next Dublin supremo?

But then 'Dalo' has blocked off enough All Star forwards in his own playing day, and fended enough hard questions during his previous spells as manager of his native Clare and his adopted Blues, not to drop his guard here.

And besides, Daly insists in his own inimitable and charismatic way, he can't answer a call that hasn't even been made.

"Sure I don't know, I haven't even thought about it, honest to God," the former All-Ireland winning skipper insisted, speaking at an eir Sport Pack media promotion yesterday.

"Until someone picks up that phone ... you'd have to think about it then, maybe. But look, I'd be driving myself demented looking at my mobile phone, 'Did I miss any calls?'

"At this stage of my life as well, if you go back at that level you'd have to give up the media stuff," the hurling pundit continued. "And it's nice, like, you can still have a very high level of involvement in the thing."

Tempting

While the prospect of seeking the Clare post vacated by Davy Fitzgerald last autumn was "tempting", he went on: "I've done nine years of it and, feck it, I played as well and had a good innings. I managed - I'd like to have won an All-Ireland, that's something I'd have to say that I would regret. It didn't happen and, sure look, I still enjoyed it all. I don't know, I don't know ... it's a long haul as well."

The answer is sufficiently non-committal that a Daly return - three years on from his first six-season stint in the capital - cannot be ruled out. Then again, Mattie Kenny's name has featured prominently ever since Ger Cunningham's inevitable resignation - no surprise given his All-Ireland club heroics with Cuala.

Then you've the left-field alternative: Pat Gilroy. At one stage last month, BoyleSports suspended betting on the former Dublin football manager becoming the county's next hurling boss - despite his dearth of small ball pedigree.

Daly and Gilroy were appointed to their previous Sky Blue roles at the same time, for the 2009 season.

The former even referenced Gilroy's putative candidacy four nights ago, neatly fending off a Des Cahill ball-hop about the vacancy on The Sunday Game.

But could Pat be the man to revitalise the Dubs? "I haven't a clue, to tell you the truth," Daly demurred. "I know Pat - I wouldn't doubt his capabilities to be a manager of any sort. He'd probably need a hurling coach with him. Maybe he has done more (hurling) coaching; I don't think he has. He told me he gave it up when he was 16."

Daly recalled having a pretty good rapport with Gilroy - and "a good few rows as well. But we always managed to make up. There'd be an auld text the following day or something".

He recounted one particular tug-of-war involving Rory O'Carroll when he was establishing himself as Gilroy's full-back in 2010 while the U21 hurlers craved his services too.

O'Carroll was released for the U21s' Leinster semi-final trip to Kilkenny.

Great

"He gave us Rory for the Nowlan Park match," Daly recalled, "and he said 'You're not getting him after that'. So we said all right, that'll do us. He had some match on Walter Walsh below in Nowlan, it was a great win … we were looking for him for the final against Wexford and he told us to feck off!"

Nowadays, Jim Gavin has a handful of would-be Dublin hurlers in his squad but Daly accepts there is little chance of seeing Con O'Callaghan & Co any day soon wielding a stick in Sky Blue.

The next manager, he ventured, would be "hoping to get Mark Schutte back" after this summer's football sojourn, possibly with an All-Ireland medal pocketed.

He likewise reckoned that older brother Paul has "another couple of years in him anyway at county hurling".

As for Conal Keaney's comments this week on the importance of making the right managerial appointment, Daly agreed that it's a "big call" for the county board.

"Look, it mightn't have panned out for Ger (Cunningham) but I thought at the time ... it was ran by me, what did I think, off the record; I just kind of said, 'Jesus, excellent'. I would have known him from the sideline in Cork; very clever, would have seen him making a few changes over the years. It just didn't click, whatever it was.

"It might be that when one fella's there a long time, it's hard for the next guy. Fellas get used to certain ways ..."

Safe to say, that wouldn't be a problem for Dalo!

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