herald

Thursday 20 June 2019

O'Rorke is proving to be Dublin's 'find' of League

MOVING FORWARD: Dublin forward Oisín O’Rorke. Photo: SPORTSFILE
MOVING FORWARD: Dublin forward Oisín O’Rorke. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Mattie Kenny's 'find' of the League?

Given Pat Gilroy's mass inclusion policy last spring (he gave eight players their first League game against Offaly in January), Kenny was unlikely to dish out too many debuts in his own maiden spring as Dublin manager.

So far there have been just three.

Thomas Davis prospect Davy Keogh's appearance as a 67th minute substitute against Carlow was his first exposure to League hurling.

Ditto Daire Gray against Galway while both the most recent and most impressive new League 'cap' was Seán Brennan, the Cuala goalkeeper who pulled off two outstanding first half saves in the mud and rain in Parnell Park as Dublin beat Laois.

But for a number of reasons, the most compelling breakthrough act of Dublin's League so far has been Oisín O'Rorke.

The Kilmacud Crokes forward's 2-3 against Offaly in Tullamore was an eye-catching individual contribution but O'Rorke's interventions against Waterford (0-11, 8f, 1 '65') and Laois were easily more influential towards Dublin winning tight games at home.

"Oisín is a confidence player," notes club-mate Ryan O'Dwyer. "He can change a game. He's very good.

Rookie

"If he is on form and he's confident, he's on fire. It's like that video of Davy Fitz in LIT -'get Joe the ball!'

"Well when Oisín is on form, it's 'get Oisín the ball'. Because he will make things happen."

At 25 this year, the Kilmacud forward is hardly a rookie.

This is his fifth season in which he has been a Dublin senior panel member, albeit his appearances have been brief and randomly scattered through the last four years.

In fact his involvement with Dublin stretches back even further.

"In '14, I remember bringing him to Portugal on a training camp really to make up numbers," recalls Anthony Daly, mow O'Rorke's club manager with Kilmacud Crokes.

"Himself and a number of young lads. And I remember having a coffee with the selectors after a tough morning with a full match in the heat and saying 'Young O'Rorke!'

"I knew he was small and probably going to remain smallish but the touch the movement…"

Since then O'Rorke's appearance with Dublin have been curiously sporadic.

His only start prior to this year came on the opening night of the League in 2017 when Dublin were massacred by Tipperary, his only contribution that season.

He appeared twice in 2015 and '16 respectively - once each as a second half substitute in the League and Championship.

Ergo, this League is the first competition in which he has featured in more than one game for Dublin.

Relax

"Certain players react to certain managers," O'Dwyer reckons.

"If you have 33 or 34 lads in the dressing room, it's not a one-size-fits-all thing.

"Some lads you have to give a bollicking to to get them into a game.

"Other lads you have to tell relax. Some you just need to fill them with confidence and boost their ego.

"A good manager sees that and knows which to use with which players."

"You wonder is he just reacting to Mattie Kenny," adds O'Dwyer.

"He looks tailor-made for the summer," says Daly

"You'd be looking to establish a 23 or 24 that can be your main guys because you will lose guys.

"A fella like that could be massive for you," concludes the former Dubs boss.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News