Not to take too much focus from the job in hand for Dublin’s U21 hurlers in Thurles this weekend, but a media event involving the current senior hurling manager as a Bord Gais Energy Hurling Ambassador is too convenient an opportunity to ignore and tease out some clues on the future of the senior hurling set up.
While nothing is 100% confirmed, it is thought that Ger Cunningham should be confirmed as Dublin boss again for 2017 in the next couple of weeks. And Ger is happy to continue laying the foundations for the season. And the goal? Dublin’s first All Ireland Hurling Semi Final since 2013. Anything less would be unthinkable.
“We are heading into year three”, Ger told the Independent. “It’s changing, there are younger players coming through all the time. That’s the same in any team, you are always trying to add.”
Since Cunningham replaced Anthony Daly, Dublin have had mix in form, and consistency has been a major question mark.
In both this year’s League and Championship campaigns, Dublin bowed out earlier than the 2015 season. Though form may have dropped, Cunningham has seen his panel change quite a lot in the last year. Injuries have played a key role, plus the loss of marquee players from the panel has meant the boss has had to go seeking water form another well. And he believes that this quick learning curve will just make 2017 a better challenge for Dublin.
“The younger guys have put their hands up to be selected and have come in and made the transition from U21 to senior. We are looking across the board, not just at U21’s, we are looking at the club scene as well.”
Between holidays taken by Cunningham himself and the county board, there hasn’t been a meeting yet to review the season and the plan ahead, but it’s expected to happen some time soon.”
“We had a chat, but between holidays on my side and on the lads’ side of it (it was held up). We’ll meet up again in a couple of weeks’ time,” Cunningham said.
“They’re focusing on the U-21s and that sort of the thing. So by the end of the month, we’ll meet up again.”