Tony Griffin bringing that little bit extra to Dublin’s cause
Former Clare star just one of a varied and experienced backroom team assembled by manager Anthony Daly
“Think of the seasons in 2005 and 2006 that Tony Carmody had for instance. I would attribute an awful lot of that to Father Harry meeting him for lunch once a week nearly down the Clare Inn. They’d have a sandwich and a cup of tea and he’d say, ‘Well Carmo, how’s things goin’? How’s the guards goin’? How’s life goin’?
“You know? ‘How’s training goin’? Are you happy? What do you think you should work on?
“It’s like that for us all, isn’t it? In our lives to talk about things is good. He’s a great communicator, Tony.”
Dublin captain Johnny McCaffrey says: “Sometimes you get sports psychologists in that haven’t played the game. They are talking good things but it is hard to relate to. With Tony, you know he has been at the top for a long time, you know he knows what’s needed.”
Griffin’s not the only addition Daly made to the Dublin hurling backroom in 2013. Martin Kennedy became conditioning coach for the footballers so Ross Dunphy replaced him.
“Maybe if you could marry a bobsledder and a kayaker and put a bit of hurling into them you’d have a prototype,” said Dunphy when talking about his philosophy.
“You want hurlers to be very mobile and flexible upper body-wise, you want to be able to take hits but be able to move quickly from it.
“I worked fairly closely with Tommy (Dunne) in Toomevara and with Tipp. Anthony brought him in for a few sessions and he’s still working with us once a-week and we’d work quite well together. Tommy would be emphasising the touch, the movement, the speed of play and you marry that with fitness and they look quite fit.”
The recently retired Shane Martin is another to join the management trio of Daly, another Tipp man in Richie Stakelum and Ciarán Hetherton.
“Shane’s a breath of fresh air in terms of enthusiasm,” Daly continued. “He loves the video work, he is eating up that side of it, whereas I’d prefer to be outside with a whistle and a stop watch, roaring, telling lads to go faster.”
Stakelum perhaps sums up the current group best: “We’ve matured as a management team. We made mistakes (two years ago), the focus was more about what was going on outside . . . . The focus now is not about anyone else, it’s about what Dublin can bring and if that’s good enough it’s good enough, if it’s not it’s not.”