Friday 9 December 2016

Bryan Cullen quits Leinster to take on Dublin high performance role

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

29 April 2015; EirGrid GAA Football U21 ambassador and former Dublin footballer Bryan Cullen at Parnell Park, Dublin, ahead of the EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Final on Saturday, 2nd May, between Tipperary and Tyrone. Parnell Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
29 April 2015; EirGrid GAA Football U21 ambassador and former Dublin footballer Bryan Cullen at Parnell Park, Dublin, ahead of the EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Final on Saturday, 2nd May, between Tipperary and Tyrone. Parnell Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland winning captain Bryan Cullen is to link up with his former colleagues again as the capital's director of high performance.

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The anticipated move comes as Martin Kennedy, the senior squad's 'athletic coach' for the last three years under Jim Gavin's management, takes up a role with the IRFU.

Kennedy has been appointed as national talent strength and conditioning coach, which is a full-time role. Cullen is moving in the other direction, having worked as a strength and conditioning coach in the Leinster Academy.

A Dublin GAA statement last night confirmed the new appointment, saying Cullen would be "entrusted with developing a long-term player pathway from juvenile to senior level for the county's players, as well as taking a lead role in the strength and conditioning of all our inter-county teams".

Cullen had previously worked in Leinster's sub-academy, but moved up last year, having joined just days after leading Dublin to All-Ireland glory for the first time in 16 years.

As high performance director Cullen is expected to oversee the strength and conditioning of all Dublin squads. But he will place focus too on the seniors.

He had previously worked with Gavin at U-21 level and was also involved with Anthony Daly's hurlers for a spell.

Kennedy built up a strong rapport with the Dublin footballers, who regularly worked out at his National Athlete Development Academy.

Cullen only announced his retirement in early 2015, so it will be a quick return to an environment he has been familiar with. Only last year Gavin unveiled another former Dublin player of recent vintage, Jason Sherlock, as a forwards coach, while Dublin County Board have also hired Tomas Quinn, a colleague of Cullen's, as their commercial director.

Cullen is a graduate of DCU, where he completed his PhD at the School of Health and Human Performance, and spent 13 years as a Dublin senior footballer, having been drafted in as a minor by Tommy Lyons in 2002.

Irish Independent

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