Treacy: Mattie wants to win every match
Forward turning attentions to Dublin after Cuala's remarkable run ended
"CUALA was amazing," reflects David Treacy, "but now it's time for Dublin."
Not that he's suddenly turning his back on his club or anything.
Or that he was only half-committed to Dublin these past couple of years.
But Cuala's extraordinary run to two All-Ireland club titles in-a-row has taken up much of his competitive time and energy since 2016.
So while he came back into the Dublin fold last year following his club's remarkable second successive All-Ireland victory, the necessity for a replay before beating Na Piarsaigh and a newly-abridged hurling championship meant Treacy spent just eight weeks training and playing under Pat Gilroy.
Cuala's run finally ended in October when Kilmacud Crokes beat them in the Dublin semi-final and under the similarly heavyweight management of Willie Maher they'll surely be back for more.
But his focus now is Dublin.
There is, Treacy observes, 'hay to be made' and if the sun isn't exactly blazing in the blue sky just yet, a combination of factors leads him to believe it will soon enough.
"The couple of challenges that Dublin would have had in the past, Mattie is fortunate that he has a full deck to choose from, from the off," he points out of the squad of players with whom he currently trains, newly-replenished with a couple of his Cuala team mates and even Treacy's own younger brother, Seán.
And then there's Mattie Kenny himself, Treacy's now former club manager and current Dublin boss, the new man at the helm but one with a sparkling record.
"He doesn't want to lose any game. Anything at all even," Treacy confirms. "We'd be playing him in golf and he refuses to lose in anything. He's just that sort of personality. Mattie's looking to go out and win every single game."
Treacy is 29 but 2019 will be his 11th season as a Dublin senior.
"Coffin-dodger, they call me," he smiles but he knows he has played more matches for Dublin than he will between now and whenever he retires.
"You see the likes of Shane Durkin and Gary (Maguire) and Johnny (McCaffrey) and these types of stalwarts that I would have cut my teeth with playing with in 2009, you get to that stage when you see the likes of the guys coming through; the Lee Gannons, the Donal Burkes, the two Curries (Colin and Seán) - you're trying to stay ahead of the curve.
"I'm under no illusions about the way the game is now in terms of strength and conditioning," he points out.
"I want to play as long as possible but it's obviously getting harder and harder with the guys that are coming (through)."
When they won the Leinster SHC under Anthony Daly in 2013, Treacy admits he thought hurling in August would be an annual appointment.
Dublin's inability to raise a gallop since then has forced him to question his sanity and ponder the reason for exposing himself to such physical hardship for such limited reward.
"All the time," he admits. "You lose one match and you question it. This is the way it affects your mood. It's such a big part of your life."
It helps that he has a sounding board in girlfriend Sineád Goldrick, now a double All-Ireland winner with Dublin but who felt the sting of the team's near misses more than most.
"I'd be training Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and she'd be Monday, Wednesday, Friday," Treacy outlines.
"They were saying that's why we get on so well!"
"But Cork had beaten them so many times," he recall. "And obviously people see the heartbreak on the pitch and it's very sad. But it's the months afterwards that are tough because Sineád is a very heart on her sleeve kind of player.
"And she puts everything into it. She deserves everything she gets. I see everything she puts in.
"But you always would hope that the positives always outweigh the negatives and the sooner the negatives outweigh the positives, then you have to take a look.
"But I'm still really enjoying it. Love playing. Love representing my county. Really looking forward to this year," he added.