Tuesday 25 October 2016

Ger Cunningham coy on changes to his backroom team as Kelly's cruciate injury fears ease

Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly

Ger Cunningham is facing a major rebuilding job of his backroom team as he ramps up preparations for 2016.

Selector Shay Boland has stood down from the role and stories have circulated the capital that Gearóid Ó Riain - another selector - and team trainer, Ed Coughlan, have also decided not to go forward with Cunningham into the new season.

The Dublin manager was unwilling to confirm Ó Riain's or Coughlan's departures at yesterday's announcement that Dublin will play Galway in Fenway Park - home of the Boston Redsox - on November 22 in an 11-a-side exhibition match, as he had yet to inform the squad of these developments.

However, it is probable that Cunningham will need to recruit a significant section of his backroom team before the beginning of the new season.


Ó Riain and Boland were both appointed selectors by Cunningham along with Tommy Dunne, who stood down in February, citing time constraints having been accepted for a Masters in Sports Performance at the University of Limerick

Coughlan, meanwhile, has served as the team's trainer since the beginning of the season.

There was, however, good news for Cunningham yesterday after receiving word that Peter Kelly had not suffered a cruciate ligament injury in club action.

Kelly underwent a scan on Monday after going over on his knee on Friday amid fears that he had fallen foul of a possible season-ending injury.

"From what I can gather, it's a suspected dislocated knee," Cunningham explained.

"There's some cartilage damage but it's not a cruciate.

"He got the scan done straight away. There was a lot of swelling on the knee. So it just needed to come down.

"Just got a call earlier on from the medical guys to say that that's the prognosis."

"I know he was in a lot of pain. And anything to do with the knee, you'd obviously be a bit concerned.

"Your worst thoughts would be a cruciate. Thankfully it's not.

"A dislocated (knee) might or might not need an operation. He might need something for the cartilage. But I think, even though it's another injury for him this year, at least it's not a cruciate."


Similarly, Simon Lambert suffered a knee injury over the weekend but has since been in touch with Cunningham to clarify that no long-term damage had been sustained by the Ballyboden St Enda's clubman.

The Dublin manager revealed that no member of last year's panel had indicated an intention to retire and that he would use the closing stages of the Dublin club SHC, which is approaching the quarter-final stage, to re-examine squad prospects for next season. "We'll have to find them," he stressed.

"A lot of the guys that came on our radar, that played with the under-21s, will all be playing.

"So again, it's condensed into a short period of time. Fellas will get an opportunity to put their hands up for selection," the former Cork goalkeeper concluded.

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