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Monday 18 December 2017

Barrett: There's no rift that needs healing

Dublin squad has the potential to succeed once they gel

Shane Barrett believes Dublin have huge potential under Pat Gilroy.
Shane Barrett believes Dublin have huge potential under Pat Gilroy.

Most urgent among the jobs Pat Gilroy was said to have to complete in the embryonic stages of his new role as Dublin hurling manager was the mending of fences shattered by the storm of the past couple of years.

Early evidence, however, would suggest that that particular task was overplayed.

For one, Gilroy was unmoved by the suggestion that there may be as yet unearthed resentment about the defections of so many of the team that slid alarmingly from relevance under Ger Cunningham.

issues

And neither in Boston last weekend at the AIG Fenway Classic or in the few training sessions the entire, currently bloated group have taken this month, has the subject of the recent past been an issue, according to Shane Barrett.

"Look, there are absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever," stressed Barrett, one of the touring Dubs and despite being just 21, one of the more experienced.

'The lads did it for their own reasons, be it work or just that they weren't enjoying it.

"It's totally up to themselves. And now, if they're willing to come back in and give it a hundred per cent, there won't be any hard feelings there.

"Everyone has one aim. I have no issues with anyone."

Barrett, as it happened, roomed in Boston with Danny Sutcliffe, possibly the most famous of Dublin hurling's prodigal sons and the man who captained the team that lost their semi-final to a more physical Galway in his first appearance for the county in two years.

Barrett admitted that the sense of being left in the lurch in 2016 and 2017 "crosses your mind" at the time but mulling over it or bearing resentment was tantamount to wasted energy.

"When they go, they go. You can't really dwell on that," he stressed.

"You have to just get back up and get ready to go again.

"Because if you keep thinking, 'if we had this person or that person' you're just looking for excuses. And you never want to be a team that looks for excuses."

There was also a detectable air from the Dublin hurlers who travelled to Boston at the weekend that they were still very much men on trial.

With 27 present in the Massachusetts capital, another 20 or so at home ready to join them for the resumption of training this week and whatever Gilroy decides to add from Cuala whenever their club run concludes further down line, that was inevitable.

Barrett, for one, was insistent that his goals were short-term now.

"All I want to do is make the panel for the League," he said. "Simple as that."

How to accomplish that has already been relayed to the hopefuls.

Almost every sentence Gilroy used in answering questions about what he was looking for in a player has contained the the word 'attitude'.

"You have to be ready to perform and ready to play every single day," he outlined.

"The difference is you have to get yourself right. You might be doing a morning session or you might be doing an evening session.

"And between that, you have to get yourself right to go again. So the attitude there is that you have to be looking after yourself to get yourself right to go again.

"He's basing it all on performance. He's very professional and only good things are going to come from it."

The past three years have been a conflicting time in Barrett's hurling career.

At 19, he was given his inter-county debut by Cunningham and become one of the few consistently high-performing members of it right up until the ignominious end of the Cork man's stint as manager in Thurles this summer.

"When you're inside the circle, you don't really think 'this is a bad time for Dublin'," he explains.

"I thoroughly enjoyed playing during it but I made my debut, so that probably helped. In a few of the games, we were sort of unlucky.

HARD TIME

"But yeah, just reflecting back on it over the last few months, it was a bit of a hard time. And when you look at it now - it wasn't great."

He is optimistic, though.

In the ideal situation of everyone committing to Dublin for 2018 - particularly if a larger number of Cuala men are factored in - there is the making of a highly-talented and varied squad.

"If you look at a few of the names there and put them on to a piece of paper, it is an unbelievable list," Barrett agrees.

"But the main thing is that we all have to start gelling properly now and really get that team camaraderie back together.

"So the names are all well and good. But we need to gel," the Na Fianna man insists. "We need to perform."

"We need to start to get the thing going back the right way again."

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