'I'm just going to have to be better than rest': Paul
Schutte says he must work to win back defensive spot
Paul Schutte has announced himself fit as summer looms for the Dublin hurlers, though the Cuala defender maintains he must "prove himself all over again," if he is to reclaim his regular spot in a newly competitive defence.
Schutte, the team's vice-captain, dislocated his shoulder for a second time last year and underwent reconstruction surgery from which he is only now fully recovered and back in full contact participation.
Having expressed his aim to play at least part of Dublin's League campaign, Schutte missed it all, though he has played two club matches for Cuala and an internal game with Dublin last Saturday.
"When I set my targets," he explained in conversation with the Herald, "I was told after the operation that it would be four to five months.
"I just set my target to be the early side of it but it dragged out a bit longer.
"I played an A and B match last weekend and I played a couple of club games. So I feel like I'm getting there now."
The injury, he is certain, has been corrected though Schutte has since learned he is genetically inclined towards such knocks.
"When I was in with the surgeon, he was telling me the family history. Because the family were funding the left wing of Santry Sports Clinic!
"But yeah, it is a hereditary thing, loose joints. You see a lot of repeat offenders.
"James O'Donoghue," he points out, "has done it four times or whatever."
In his absence, the Dublin full-back line were one of the higher performing units of the Dublin team this spring.
"Even if I was back fully fit," he conceded, "there was no need to rush me back because Cian (O'Callaghan), Oisín (Gough) and Eoghan O'Donnell were arguably three of our better players.
"Even if I was fit, I probably wouldn't have gotten in anyway.
"It's like being back when you were 18 or 19, trying to prove yourself all over again.
"Like, it was great to see Oisín Gough back. He would be one of my best mates.
"I thought 'happy days' until he started playing so well.
"You do need that. It's a welcomed thing. If we want to win and I want to be the best corner-back, I'm going to have to be better than these lads."
The Limerick defeat in his absence had educational benefits.
"You either win or you learn and we learning something that night," Schutte expands, though the process of reclaiming his starting spot is of more immediate concern.
"It's just getting that sharpness back.
"With a big lead into Championship, you actually get more chances to play and earn your spot in the team."