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Thursday 22 August 2019

'Galway means nothing unless we win Sunday'

Treacy fit, ready and on red alert for Laois, who are far more than mere 'banana skin'

David Treacy of Dublin at the launch today of AIG Ireland’s ‘If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It’ initiative, designed to shift Ireland’s cultural perception of women’s sport.
David Treacy of Dublin at the launch today of AIG Ireland’s ‘If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It’ initiative, designed to shift Ireland’s cultural perception of women’s sport.

David Treacy watched Dublin's heart-pumping Parnell Park win over Galway 'in civvies', alongside a couple of his fellow walking wounded. He missed the last two rounds of the Leinster SHC, but is now fighting fit and hoping to see game-time against Laois on Sunday.

And beyond that? Don't ask.

Treacy turns 30 in November and it's fair to surmise that the experience forged through a decade with the Dublin hurlers - some of it glorious, some gruesome - has him on red alert.

After all, back in 2010, he was a young tyro introduced to the Croke Park fray during a supposedly routine qualifier against Antrim. At the time, Dublin were five up and cruising.

They lost.

So any talk of Tipperary, a week later, is off-limits. And any inference that Eddie Brennan's Laois represent a potential 'banana skin' is shot down almost as quickly. "I wouldn't even call it a banana skin," he counters. "It's going to be a massive test. Their top eight are very, very skilful and very talented hurlers. They've a brilliant set-up there with great experience.

Firepower

"Obviously Niall Corcoran's stamp is all over that team in terms of their physicality and their attitude. And then the quality up front that you probably got from Eddie Brennan ... 3-26 against any team (as Laois scored against Westmeath in last Sunday's Joe McDonagh Cup final), I don't care who you say, they have a lot of firepower up front.

"So to say it's a banana skin, I think, is a bit unfair on Laois because you can be sure they're going out to beat us - and that's what we have to prepare for."

After a testing month, Treacy now feels fit and ready to help the cause. He has been back training for a fortnight.

His injury (more "tweak" than tear, where groin meets hip flexor) ruled him out of the last two Leinster round-robin fixtures against Carlow and Galway.

Prior to that, Treacy had started the promise-laden but ultimately deflating defeat in Kilkenny, then came off the bench in the pulsating draw with Wexford. He watched Dublin's do-or-die finale alongside fellow casualties, Paul Ryan and Cian O'Callaghan.

"I don't envy any spectator with a vested interest," he admits. "It was a brilliant match. Obviously we're looking at it through a different lens … it was a great win, the atmosphere was amazing.

"But after the result, the permutations happened; we didn't get into the Leinster final, which was very disappointing because that's the goal we set ourselves at the beginning of the year."

He continues: "We did our part that day. What's that expression, what's meant for you won't pass you ... but again, you can't look back at all, because the second you do that you're gone.

"Obviously this Sunday is going to be absolutely massive - so fingers crossed we can prepare as best as is possible and put in a performance."

Do that and the widespread presumption is that they'll advance to meet Tipp in a quarter-final proper (even the term 'preliminary quarter-final' had a pejorative ring).

But when asked if the Dublin camp have spoken of the need to deliver another statement victory this summer to back up what they did against Galway, Treacy replies: "It doesn't matter who you beat. A lot's been made that it was Galway and this and that. Obviously it was a good win at the time when we needed to win.

Achieve

"But, at the end of the day, we set ourselves a goal to get to the Leinster final and ultimately we didn't achieve that.

"If we were lose on Sunday or not perform as best we can, what does the season amount to now?"

The Galway match, he stresses, is "long in the rear view mirror". Looking forward, he has positive news about O'Callaghan ("coming back to full training" after a long absence) and Ryan.

On the subject of Eoghan O'Donnell, forced off with a hamstring injury the last day, he says: "I'm not sure, I don't have his physio file! He's training away, so it's down to Mattie (Kenny) and the backroom team to call on that. I don't what the lead-in time for him is, but he is back nearly full training so he's in good shape."

But, as he quickly adds, "the squad is in a really good position in terms of depth ... and I'm just one amongst 10 or 15 options that can slot in anywhere."

Finally, after extolling Conal Keaney's performance against Galway ("His longevity is amazing but it's more so he is so headstrong, his mindset is brilliant") and the impact of everyone else that day, including the bench, he concludes with a warning.

"All these performances mean absolutely nothing if we don't win on Sunday. It would be a Leinster championship getting through to the preliminary quarters and achieving nothing from it. So yeah - Sunday."

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