Dublin hurlers remain upbeat despite loss of key players
Goalkeeper Conor Dooley confident team has enough ‘leaders’ to take on Galway
Dublin goalkeeper Conor Dooley with pupils from St Ultan’s school in Cherry Orchard at the AIG Heroes day in Bluebell Community Centre. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
The perception that Dublin are going into the hurling championship without all their best players may be difficult to shake off – no matter how far they end up going – although for now Conor Dooley insists they are concentrating on all the players that are there.
The sight of 2013 All Star Danny Sutcliffe lining out for the New York footballers at the weekend highlighted the issue, and it has also emerged that neither Mark Schutte nor brother Paul from All-Ireland club champions Cuala are likely to return to the county panel for the championship.
Dooley is set to start in goal for Dublin’s Leinster opener against league champions Galway on May 28th (first-choice goalkeeper Gary Maguire is suspended).
Despite the low expectations of Dublin going into that game (they were also relegated in the league), Dooley insists the mood is good.
“Well Danny is gone a while,” says Cooney, “and this year it hasn’t been too bad, to be honest. Danny has given a lot to Dublin GAA, he’s always wanted to go to America and when he went we were always going to wish him the best. It was great to see him starting for New York the other day.
“But our focus is on what’s going on at training, what’s going to be on the pitch for the Galway match. We can’t really be looking for excuses, so look we are just going to play with what we have and try to get on with it.
“We still have a good group of leaders, experienced fellas – Gary Maguire, Liam Rushe, David O’Callaghan, Ryan O’Dwyer. You have your leaders there at the moment.
“We also have brought in fresh blood and given it every chance and they’ve proved they deserve their place and that’s what we’d be hoping to get. We can’t really dwell on what’s gone.
“Whatever is there you are just going to have to give it your full attention. Galway are a bit like us. They have the potential to play very well and then they have the potential to have a bit of a stinker.
“I think it’s very easy for lads to say we haven’t got any experienced players so we didn’t really perform. You are looking for lads to step up and if you play well you are given a chance.
“It’s up to you to grab it if you can and if you can hold on to it then you might become one of the experienced leaders that everyone is talking about.”