It’s been almost four weeks since the Dublin Senior Hurlers exited this year’s All Ireland Hurling Championship following their 1-26 to 1-23 defeat to Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn.
And up to now Dublin boss Ger Cunningham has had some down time to reflect on the highs and lows of the 2016 season. A season that’s been very much a mixed bag. Key players missing, others dropped from the squad, and the Dubs have had to contend with injury issues which didn’t aid their cause.
They finished the round stages of this year’s National Hurling League with three wins and two losses leaving them sitting third in the 1A table. Tipp and Kilkenny dealt them opening and closing round blows, while in-between Dublin saw off Galway, thrashed Cork in Croke Park, and even produced a four point win over Waterford.
Two points separated them against Limerick, losing the league Quarter Final, and preparations got underway early for the Championship.
They started well and saw off Wexford quite easily in the Leinster Quarter Finals, but when they traveled to O’Moore Park three weeks later for the Semi Final, Kilkenny both schooled and hammered them 1-25 to 0-16. So it was the qualifiers once again and the hope of improving on the previous years Quarter Final finish.
That brings us up to speed, we all know how it ended. A very emotional Saturday night in Ger Cunningham’s back yard. The season over too soon for some, and the reflecting began.
This week, the Dublin boss, and Bord Gáis Energy Sports Ambassador, was in attendance for a promotional event before tomorrow evening’s Munster U21 Hurling Championship Final between Waterford and Tipperary. And he told the42.ie of his plans to review the year.
“We’ll sit down with Seán and John on the county board and have a chat.” referring to Dublin GAA Chairman Seán Shanley and Chief Executive John Costello.
“It’s like anything you do, you’d like to review it and see how it went.” he said.
With one year remaining on Ger’s contract with the Dublin Hurlers, discussions will obviously be about the changes he’s made since being ratified as County Manager in 2014, if he’s done enough to put his own spin on both Dublin’s hurling panel and the way they’ve approached this year’s competitions. Has Dublin Senior Hurling progressed under the Cork man’s tenure?
“The team is changing, evolving, we’ve had a chance to look at what’s required and needed.” Cunningham admitted.
And in a sense, having his hand forced to introduce as many as nine U21 players to the senior panel, this is indeed a true statement. And the success of Joe Fortune’s panel this year is a great reflection on what could be at Ger’s disposal.
“They’ve done very well in the U21 grade, winning Leinster this year, so it’s a mixed bag all over if you look at it.”
“We’ll review our situation and take stock, have a chat with them and hopefully that will happen in the next few weeks.”