Work-rate the key for Dubs Cubs ahead of Offaly challenge
leinster mhc first round
After months of training and challenge matches, Dublin's minor hurlers will eventually get their provincial campaign up and running when they meet Offaly in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship 2nd round tie at Parnell Park next Saturday afternoon (2.30).
The Dubs have enjoyed a positive build-up to the match and team manager Johnny McGuirk is hopeful that his panel can produce a display to match their efforts over the spring.
"We are really looking forward to getting out there and starting our championship," said McGuirk.
"This is what all the work is about and why we prepare the way we do and we're confident that we can do justice to the efforts that all the players have put in over the past few months.
"It is a big day for them all and although there may be some nerves out there at the start, we are happy enough that all the players have the right mentality for the task ahead," said McGuirk.
Standing in Dublin's way are an Offaly team that qualified for the Leinster Minor Hurling League final, succumbing to Wexford in the decider, before they enjoyed a 1-19 to 0-10 victory over Carlow in their championship opener last Saturday week.
The display against Carlow in what was a tricky first fixture highlighted the threat that the Faithful County will pose in five days time, according to McGuirk.
"Offaly will be a decent team on Saturday and we have to make sure that we give them the respect that they deserve.
"They are a physical team that work very hard for each other and we have to make sure that we can match them in terms of their endeavour and effort if we're going to get the better of them.
"At the end of the day, it is a first day out for a lot of our players and Offaly have the benefit of having already played a match but most of our focus is on getting our own things right on the day," said McGuirk.
If Dublin are to secure a positive result on Saturday, their own focus on team-work and application will be central to their chances.
McGuirk and his back-room team have worked tirelessly in cultivating the collective attitude within the panel and the former Craobh Chiaráin and Dublin star is optimistic that the attitude of his players can bring this side a fair distance this summer.
"We have tested ourselves in challenge games and in training and we have been very happy with the attitude of the players since we got together.
"Our team is all about helping each other out and that all comes from working very hard for each other.
"The lads play as a unit which is very pleasing from a management perspective and they have worked really hard but we need to make sure that we can produce it on the day," said McGuirk.
Despite very few players being available from last year's side that reached the All-Ireland quarter-final, Dublin will enter the championship with a degree of confidence based on results in their challenge games and McGuirk is happy with the depth that his panel has ahead of their Offaly challenge at the weekend.
"We have a good panel to pick from and it is very difficult to pick the 24 players for Saturday so we're happy with the talent at our disposal," he added.