Former All Star Peter Kelly has revealed he didn’t want to walk away.
A National League Medal, A Leinster Medal and an All Star Award. Not held by too many Dublin Hurlers, but over the last decade Lucan Sarsfields Peter Kelly was an integral part of the Dublin hurling set up, until injuries began to thwart his ambitions.
While not having played a competitive game for the boys in blue since 2015, the faithful Dublin fans always held out hope that one day they would see the towering presence of Kelly return to inter county action.
In the Leinster Quarter Final against Galway three years ago, Peter tore his hamstring straight off the bone. He did return off the bench in Dublin’s All Ireland Quarter Final defeat to Waterford that year but it would be a cameo off the bench and indeed his last.
Kelly suffered two hamstring injuries that year, and a dislocated knee cap, which effectively took him out of action and he spent the 2016 season benched before he decided to walk away in 2017 on his own terms.
“I just felt it was a good time to step away for various reasons.” Kelly told the Herald.
In November of last year Kelly got the call from new boss Pat Gilroy and he felt he still had something to give to the Dublin set up.
“The way things finished up in 2015, I hadn’t represented Dublin in a while and the whole project he was building, it was very hard to say no to.”
“It was an opportunity to be involved in an elite environment again … I felt I owed myself to give it a go again.”
So for the winter Kelly worked with the Dublin medical team, to try alleviate concerns about his injuries and to see where he would be come the beginning of the year.
But unfortunately he felt his knee problems were holding him back from reaching the level of intensity needed for the inter county set up. In addition he had made a promise to himself that he wouldn’t be there just to make up the numbers. It wasn’t fair on others who were putting the work in.
“Chatting with Pat, I said I feel this is the right decision for me if I want to go and continue playing with the club. And thank God that I am able to still play.”
Debut and Success
Kelly made his senior championship debut in 2008 before the arrival of Anthony Daly. He was there for their 2011 League success and of course their 2013 Leinster Championship win.
“From a collective point of view it was brilliant. We’d been written off many times during the summer”.
Peter Kelly released the following statement on Sunday…
“I would like to announce I am stepping away from the Dublin hurling team. I have loved every minute of wearing the Dublin jersey. It’s been a great honour to wear the blue jersey for so many years and play alongside a great bunch of lads.”
“For the longevity of my club career, this is the right choice for me.”
“I also want to thank Pat for the opportunity this year, and wish the team the best of luck for the year ahead.”