BRYAN CULLEN has warned Dublin fans, buoyant over Ciarán Kilkenny's decision to return to the inter-county fold, not to expect immediate and spectacular results.
Cullen, much like everyone else involved with the Dublin footballers, was pleasantly surprised at Kilkenny's Australian U-turn and the 2011 All-Ireland winning captain is predicting a big career for Castleknock's finest.
He has urged caution, however, and stressed that Kilkenny will require time and space in order to fulfil his full potential.
"At the end of the day, he is only 19, a young guy and we shouldn't be pinning the hopes of Dublin football on his shoulders," said Skerries Harps man Cullen.
"It is great from a Dublin point of view to have him back, but we should let him concentrate on his underage football for the next few months.
"I was happy to see him come home because it is obvious that he is a hugely talented player and, judging by his performances at the tail end of last year, he does have a huge amount to offer Dublin football.
"For now, his priorities are concentrating on his club who have a big game coming up (All-Ireland Club JFC semi-final v Kerry's Kenmare) and then his underage football and hurling and that is probably for the best."
Cullen added that Kilkenny's national profile has been naturally fattened due to his involvement with Dublin but that the evidence he has seen so far suggests strongly that the Castleknock teenager can deal with such pressures.
"Certainly, he attracts more attention than other players his age, but that is going to happen in Dublin," Cullen pointed out.
"The move to Australia was fairly high profile and it is going to be something that people talk about, but as a talented, young Dublin footballer, that is just something that he'll have to learn to live with. He is a very well-grounded guy, a good guy and I wouldn't say it is any bother to him."
p HENRY SHEFFLIN'S latest effort to preserve his amazing record of having never missed a Championship match during Brian Cody's reign has started after the 34-year old underwent surgery to repare a broken bone in his foot.
The nine-time All-Ireland winner could be in plaster for up to ten weeks and may not be fit to resume full training until the beginning of May.
Kilkenny play Offaly in their opening Leinster SHC outing on June 9 and since making his senior championship debut in 1999, he has never missed a single summer match for the Cats, spanning the full length of Cody's tenure on Noreside.