Round Towers to host Blue Star challenges
Anthony Daly’s Dublin senior hurling panel will get their first run out of the season on New Year’s Eve when they take on the Blue Stars hurling selection at Round Towers in Clondalkin. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
All-Ireland winning football manager Jim Gavin’s next assignment will be at his home club in Clondalkin, as Round Towers have been named as hosts of the annual Dublin Blue Star challenge.
The now traditional event – which will take place on New Year’s Eve, December 31st – will see both the Dublin senior footballers and hurlers play challenge games against Blue Star selections, comprised of players judged to have had the best club championship campaigns in Dublin this year.
The Round Towers club recently completed new floodlights and the games will actually take place under the lights, starting with the hurling challenge (5pm) and then the football (7pm).
The New Year’s Eve event will also provide Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly with his first outing of the new season, although his team are now officially allowed back to collective training under the new phased guidelines introduced last year, as opposed to the outright training “ban” until January 1st, under the old rule.
Counties who exited the championships in June were allowed to begin training on November 15th; those eliminated in July could resume on December 1st; those beaten in August have been back since December 8th; while only the All-Ireland finalists are still “banned” from collective training, until December 29th.
Former Waterford dual player Gary Hurney has announced his retirement at 33. Hurney had concentrated on football in recent years, having made his senior debut in 1999, and was on the Waterford hurling team that played in the 2008 All-Ireland final.