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Comeback kid Corcoran itching to play his way back into starting berth

EARLY days, of course, but for Niall Corcoran, things are "looking up". Dublin are back to winning ways, albeit in the less hectic surrounds of Division 1B. But just as importantly, he has finally shaken off one of GAA's most unfortunately in vogue and debilitating injuries – osteitis pubis (inflammation of the pubis symphysis).

"I began to notice it last May and I just got through it and during the club championship, I was getting injections and we were saying when I finished up in November I would get it looked at," Corcoran explained.

"It was the type of thing alright where you try and do a session and it takes you three or four days to recover. You can't move so it's fairly painful."

He made an appearance off the bench for Paul Schutte in Dublin's opening round win over Offaly and says he's raring to go, if selected, for Limerick at the weekend, but accepts he will have to play his way back into a winning team.

On a more general point, he's noticing subtle differences in the Dublin camp just now, all of them positive and hugely welcome.

"It's very hard to pick a single thing out," he says. "Certainly, we have been focused this year in that what (trainer) Ross Dunphy has brought to us is a lot of skills work and a huge emphasis on that. Really going back to a more traditional type of training.

"It comes back to what Anthony (Daly) says about the responsibility to look after yourself off the pitch. They're the important things for us. Last year, maybe we weren't as responsible, even in the media and that side of things.

"We took our eye off the ball but there is certainly a maturity in the team. Maybe the lessons have been learned from last year and lads are taking responsibility for themselves.

"The sessions are a lot more intense than they were. So there is a lot of small things that could make the difference for us this year."

There is a greater premium on results this spring, an emphasis on introspection too.

"We had a chat amongst the players and with the management and I think we're just going back to basics in terms of focusing on ourselves," he explains.

"And trying to get the best out of ourselves rather than focusing on the opposition. We're looking for constant improvement in the squad individually hopefully, that will show collectively on the pitch.

"Certainly, the likes of Ross Dunphy have brought a new freshness in. A new way of doing things and a new way of thinking.

"And I think all the lads have bought into that too. That's helping as well. At the moment, it's very very positive. The confidence is building the whole time and we're getting the results now and hopefully that continues."

"Saturday is our first time back in Croke Park," Corcoran adds. "A big game against Limerick and one, I think, we really have to win to have a shot at promotion.

"You look at Limerick and they probably felt they didn't play too well against Carlow and Antrim but they will be looking for big performances too.

"But I feel we'll certainly have to be at our best to get a result. You look at the league overall ... you have Wexford the following week and Carlow the following week. They're going to be two big games for us. It's a matter for us getting the result on Saturday," Corcoran concluded.