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Saturday 3 December 2016

We have lots to work on in 2016

All Star nomination doesn't make up for mixed season according to Cuala forward

Dublin hurler Mark Schutte and founder of Movember Justin Coghlan at the announcement of the partnership between Movember, the GAA, and the GPA at Croke Park yesterday
Dublin hurler Mark Schutte and founder of Movember Justin Coghlan at the announcement of the partnership between Movember, the GAA, and the GPA at Croke Park yesterday

The GAA season being the unceasing beast it is, Mark Schutte had only just digested the finish of this year's inter-county year, taken in the news that he had been nominated for an All Star and most recently steered Cuala to a county final before the draw was made for next summer's championship.

Wexford in the Leinster SHC may be some time away yet, but no sooner will Ger Cunningham officially announce his new selectors than he will presumably reconvene the Dublin panel and then, crank the cogs and wheels into action for the 2016 season.

"I suppose it's not going to go easy," commented Schutte of the recently broken news that Dublin will, in all likelihood, have to take out Wexford, Kilkenny and Galway if they are to rescale the provincial mountain next summer.

"Leinster Championships don't come easy. This year we lost to Galway and that game probably did them hugely going along. They got a good run off it.

"I suppose getting a tough game against Wexford in the quarter-final will be huge for us and then if you get on a run like we did in 2013 - we have that same draw the year we won the Leinster Championship so I suppose it's getting them tough games early on is good to get."

Dublin have beaten Wexford two of the past three summers but at one point last year, they looked the most credible pack member to sprint on towards something more significant.

"I suppose they probably took a dip in form this year," Schutte noted.

"But, after last year's performance and there three brilliant under-21 teams in the last couple of years, you'd expect that they are going to have a huge year next year.

"Personally I suppose I was happy enough coming off 2014, I got injured in the first game and the one goal I set for myself was just get everything right, don't get injured and see where that takes me, so I was happy enough that, that came and I did all right and then I got an All Star nomination I was pretty happy with.

"It's a good building block for next year to have one of my best years for Dublin so hopefully next year I can push it on again."

This year was, Schutte admits, a significant season for him personally.

"I suppose I was probably coming to the age now," he suggests, "I turned 23 last December, and I was kind of saying I hadn't done much and I knew with Ger (Cunningham) there was going to be a lot of chances for lads to step up and stake a claim.

"There was a lot of lads did that and a lot of the new lads kind of stepped up the plate this year and got game-time they hadn't got previously.

"There was a few lads there that wanted to get game-time and they got that chance."

Yet the juxtaposition of his personal recognition in the form of an All Star nomination against Dublin's mishmash of a season doesn't really tally, Schutte feels.

Disappointed

"I suppose looking at it personally there was probably a lot of things I can work on and the team can work on.

"I suppose what the team said is we will all work on our own games and hopefully we can probably have a better year next year for it.

"I know I probably didn't have good games against Limerick and at times against Waterford.

"I was disappointed, so I suppose that's the things we are looking for, them small things that we are going to try to work on in 2016," concludes the Cuala sharpshooter.

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