O'Carroll out of Dubs' league campaign as he focuses on French sojourn
Rory O'Carroll won't be making himself available for Dublin's 2011 league campaign, as he takes himself off to France for seven months as part of his studies.
O'Carroll, Dublin's impressive rookie full-back, will be based in a village 90 minutes from Paris, where he will teach English and learn French as part of his UCD studies.
That means football will be put on the back burner for the entire league campaign, a situation he has no intention of changing.
"I won't be back for league games," he confirmed. "I don't think it would work to come back every week for league games; I don't think it's really practical. If you want to experience France properly, I don't think you'd get the full benefit out of it if you were coming back every week."
O'Carroll, who has conveyed his plans to Pat Gilroy, admits it could put him under pressure to retain his place in next year's championship.
"I come back in early May and if I'm allowed to rejoin the panel I'd have a huge amount of work to do fitness-wise and football-wise," he admitted. "I'd have missed the whole pre-season so I'd have a lot of work to do. We'll see what happens; we haven't really talked too much about it."
O'Carroll, who took himself off to Asia as part of a planned trip after making his debut in the Leinster semi-final against Westmeath last summer, wasn't happy with how this season went, despite the praise he got.
"Personally, you get a lot of people saying you had a great year, but we didn't actually win anything. I usually measure my season through silverware.
"We had good success with the U-21s, but for the seniors Meath was a disastrous game, conceding five goals. Against Tipperary, in the next game, my man got a goal.
"We played quite defensively so that plays in my favour. You're expected to play well in the full-back line if you're playing that sort of game, so if you're not playing well there's something wrong.
"I thought it was good enough, but not good enough really. We didn't win anything and that's what you aim to do."