Friday 19 January 2018

Schutte is happy to shoulder attacking burden after putting injury woes to bed

dub shc
dub shc

IF the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, surely doing something different and expecting the same results is at least slightly barmy?

Yet when Ger Cunningham shifted Mark Schutte, Man of the Match after a personal score of 0-5 against Galway in Parnell Park, from wing-forward into the edge of the square against Limerick in the League quarter-final, the dividend was even more pronounced.

A goal and five points is what Schutte eventually managed, off Richie McCarthy, no less, proving that when a forward's hot, pitch position isn't as big a deal as it's made out to be.


"It was a good win for us," reckons Schutte, one of the successes of Cunningham's early season experimentation thus far.

"We targeted the quarter-final. Last year we were down in Waterford, playing in the relegation play-off.

"And a quarter-final was something we wanted. The result kind of flattered us, in the end. But delighted to get the win, and we're into the semi-final again.

"With myself and Liam (Rushe) and Danny (Sutcliffe), there's been a lot of switching, and being comfortable in the full-forward line or half-forward line is something we've been working on," he says of the to-ing and fro-ing in the Dublin attack.

"If you limit yourself to one position you're easily marked.

"If you can play out the field you give yourself more options."

Not that Cunningham was necessarily the first Dublin manager to recognise the value of Schutte to a functioning attack.

Anthony Daly selected him at full-forward in Wexford Park last year in Dublin's opening Leinster SHC win and the first ball the Cuala man went for, his shoulder popped out.

"I was happy with my form," he recalls.


"And that's what was so frustrating about it.

It was a long winter, thinking about what could have been. But that motivated me.

"The league," insists Schutte, ahead of Sunday's semi-final with Cork in Nowlan Park, "Dublin have only won one in the last 70 years.

"To win a national title, that's the level we want to compete at. To win a national league would be huge for us," he concludes.

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