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Saturday 18 November 2017

Gilroy could revive hurlers - Conal

Former Dublin dual star Conal Keaney at yesterday’s Sport Ireland National Sports Campus for the launch of Ireland’s first Family SportFest, being held there on Sunday October 1. For more info log onto www.nationalsportscampus.ie/ familysportfest. Photo: INPHO
Former Dublin dual star Conal Keaney at yesterday’s Sport Ireland National Sports Campus for the launch of Ireland’s first Family SportFest, being held there on Sunday October 1. For more info log onto www.nationalsportscampus.ie/ familysportfest. Photo: INPHO

Conal Keaney says he "wouldn't be surprised," if Pat Gilroy did become the next Dublin hurling manager and reckons the players "would respond" to the St Vincent's man if he was appointed.

Keaney, who played football under Gilroy in 2009 and 2010 before leaving for Anthony Daly's hurling panel, said it was vital that the Dublin county board appointed "a big manager to come in and galvanise the whole squad".

"For someone like Pat to come in would be very good," he reckoned.

"Whether Pat has the time or really wants to do it, I don't really know.

"Someone like that, a good character, well able to deal with individuals, comes in with a good reputation, there'd be no bullshit with him.

"I'm sure if he was to do it he would bring someone very good hurling-wise with him because obviously his background is in football though he's always been keen enough on the hurling, to a degree.

"It just needs some big character to come in and take all the stuff that's happened in the last while and draw a line in the sand and move forward."

Keaney, who retired from inter-county hurling in 2016, admitted to being "so disappointed," with how Ger Cunningham's reign panned out.

"For the talent that was there, it very frustrating to look at it, to know that Dublin are better than this. The players know they're better than that; the core of Dublin hurling know we're a lot better than that.

"To be pretty much laughed at now all over the country, it's pretty disappointing where we are at the minute.

"But I don't think it's a huge step to turn it around, but they need to get it right from the word go, and things can change very quickly."

Keaney was adamant that talent is coming through at underage level but added "when the hurling isn't going well at the top, it's easy of a young lad of sixteen or seventeen to go, 'I'm going to chance going for the football'

"Look at Mark Schutte. That would never have happened if things were right."

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