Monday 26 September 2016

Cunningham: I'm starting to put my stamp on Dublin

Published 18/05/2016 | 02:30

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 All-Ireland Championship at Kilmacud Crokes yesterday Photo by Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 All-Ireland Championship at Kilmacud Crokes yesterday Photo by Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

It's only now, Dublin hurling manager Ger Cunningham agrees, that he feels like his name is on the door.

  • Go To

It's only now, Dublin hurling manager Ger Cunningham agrees, that he feels like his name is on the door.

His first year in charge was very much suck it and see. They didn't make it past Galway in Leinster and went down to Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-final. This year, he has his own stamp on things and that means some high-profile names have been left out.

Life without pillars of Anthony Daly's side such as Conal Keaney starts in earnest with Wexford's visit to Croke Park on Saturday night.

"When you come into a new job, you work off the previous year's panel," Cunningham said when asked if he felt like he had now put his own mark on things.

"And I suppose I have had a chance to look around at last year's U-21s and the club championship and there are other players that would fit into our style of game. Lads are getting to know what we are looking for as well so that would be fair to say."

It hasn't all gone to plan, with seven of his squad missing this weekend. Peter Kelly and Cian Boland are out with long-term injuries. Cian and Riain McBride also miss out along with Ben Quinn and James Madden. Colm Cronin won't be available as he sits exams.

The Wexford game was brought forward a week to accommodate the Bruce Springsteen concert and the extra seven days might have brought some of those players into the mix.

However, Dublin do have the experienced trio of Paul Schutte, Ryan O'Dwyer and Niall Corcoran back available.

"Ryan has been back in. He played in the club championship. Niall Corcoran is the same. Paul Schutte is back but unfortunately, he missed the second (club championship) game with concussion that he had from the first game with Cuala.

"So it's great to have those lads back but we still have a lengthy injury list."

Dublin's League was typically mixed. There were encouraging wins over Galway, Cork and perhaps most notably Waterford. But in the same campaign they coughed up a unbeaten Parnell Park record that stretched all the way back to 2011 when Limerick visited in the League quarter-final.

"That's the big thing," Cunningham agreed. "We can't say why that's the situation. We need to be mentally right every game we play. Some days you're not at the pitch of the game.

Dublin's Croke Park record hasn't been great down through the years - last year's League quarter-final win over Limerick was their first victory on Jones Road since they won the Leinster title in 2013.

Wexford haven't played Championship there since 2008 and they have come off second best against the Dubs in each of their last three summer meetings.

Still, Cunningham is expecting a stern examination.

"They are going to be very formidable on Saturday - you look at their success at U-21 level, with four Leinsters in a row - they have the talent to pick from."

Indo Sport

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport