While the Dublin footballers now commence their preparations a little earlier for the National League, Pat Gilroy is ensuring no stone is left unturned ahead of the Division 1B Hurling campaign.
It’s no secret that new Dublin Hurling manager may lack the experience of the small ball, but that hasn’t stopped him and his new management team cover every possibility in getting ready for their first Allianz League campaign.
On Sunday, the Dubs won their second Walsh Cup encounter, and won it convincingly, just as they had done on Wednesday. And with Meath and Antrim dispatched, they no face a mouth watering fixture against Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford unit in the competitions Semi Final phase.
But on Saturday, Gilroy and his group took on Tipperary in a challenge, giving them another opportunity to put the available players under the microscope. And despite losing, Pat as expected is taking the positives from the encounter.
“It’s January and fellas are mad for action.” Gilroy told the42.ie.
“We’ve put a good work load on them this week.”
Three games in five days, two wins in the Leinster competition and a defeat to Tipp. Something that the manager and his selectors are finding very productive.
“You can only do so much training, it’s all about playing games so we’re looking forward to that.”
And this week will see Dublin add to their preparations. We all know they’ll face Wexford this Sunday in Parnell Park, but the management have set up another challenge game midweek, this time against Waterford.
With the players involved in Cuala’s current All Ireland Club competition, and many players available to the inter county U20 set up being left alone, it seems that its vital that the current squad of around 35 get game time as opposed to gym work and regular training.
“A lot of these lads haven’t played at inter-county so it’s great for them to get this experience. It’s better than any training session.”
Before Dublin’s opening League game against Offaly, they’ll have played at least five games in preparation since the start of the new year. And the Walsh Cup has certainly proved a positive experience so far.
“It is valuable for us,” he said of the Walsh Cup.
“Especially with us coming in this year. It’s good to get competitive games for guys. And the challenge matches are good for us at this time of year as well. You need to get guys going again after the winter.”