Dublin and Ballyboden star Conal Keaney hasn’t yet decided on his inter county future
It’s been an entertaining year so far for Dublin Hurling, at both club and county level. After rebuilding a more than competitive team, Pat Gilroy cut short his tenure as Dublin Senior Hurling manager in a surprise exit back in September. And the county board waited until the end of the Dublin County Championship to name Mattie Kenny as his successor.
Part of this year’s renaissance on the inter county scene saw the return of some familiar faces. And fans were more than happy to see the return of Ballyboden’s Conal Keaney from retirement to line out among Gilroy’s ranks. But Keaney has never been away from club competition since he stepped away from the Dublin set up a few years ago.
And this year has been a monumental one as Boden captured their seventh county title, their first since 2013. It took two attempts to see of Kilmacud Crokes but it was second times the charm on October 28th to seal the deal. And as always Conal Keaney was integral part of manager Joe Fortunes plans.
This weekend they face their toughest test ever as they stare down the most decorated club in Leinster, Ballyhale Shamrocks, for the honour of the Leinster Senior Hurling title. Potentially a harder task then the two sessions of extra time they faced against Coolderry in the Semi Finals.
Inter County Future
Beyond this weekend, Keaney has no plans in relation to his Inter County career, and will make that decision following the outcome of the game in Netwatch Cullen Park.
“I don’t know,” he told the42.ie on whether he’ll continue his time with Dublin.
“I’ll see how the body is after this campaign. It’s been a hard enough campaign. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.”
And in comparison to other years, it has been a busy one for Keaney and his Ballyboden counterparts. A County Final and Replay to see off Kilmacud Crokes. Extra time in the Leinster Quarter Final to overcome a tough battle with Clonkill. And we’ve already mentioned almost 100 minutes of hurling in Parnell Park to get the job done against Coolderry. That’s a lot of hurling for a 36 year old.
“(The body) is good. It’s not too bad considering the amount of games we played. We’ll see what happens after that.”
The New Boss
As Dublin face a brand new chapter under two time All Ireland winning manager Mattie Kenny, things will always be different. And it will be new for Keaney too, and anyone that hasn’t worked with Kenny before.
“I don’t know Mattie, I’ve never worked with him. I haven’t sat down and talked to him, I don’t know anything about him. The Cuala lads would say he’s very prepared, he’s well-drilled and he knows what he wants.”
“You have to go with what he’s won in Cuala. That’s some achievement to get two All-Irelands back-to-back. If he can bring that to Dublin, it’ll be great.”
Dublin will get their first outing under new boss Mattie Kenny in the first round of the Bord Na Mona Walsh Cup. The game has been shifted from December 9th to December 11th with a 7:45pm throw in. The venue is yet to be confirmed.