Saturday 3 December 2016

Schutte: Holding on to Kenny has been key for Cuala

Published 28/10/2016 | 02:30

Mattie Kenny
Mattie Kenny

Mark Schutte believes that Galway's loss was Cuala's gain after the south Dublin club managed to hold on to Mattie Kenny as their manager last winter.

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Kenny guided Cuala to their first Dublin SHC title last season and was subsequently strongly linked with the vacant Galway hurling manager position, which was eventually filled by Micheál Donoghue.

And Dublin attacker Schutte revealed his joy that Kenny remained at the helm as they look to retain their title against rivals Kilmacud Crokes in tomorrow's Dublin SHC final.

"There was talk about (Kenny moving to Galway)," Schutte said.

"There was talk and rumour that he was going to get the Galway job. From our point of view, we're delighted he didn't get it. We're delighted that he came back.

"Mattie is a very motivated guy. And for him to come back, that (feeds) out onto the players.

"His motivation for the game, his drive. That kind of feeds on to the players and we're working off that as well.

"Thank God I'm not in that part of the business but in talking to the chairman of the hurling board in Cuala, it is tough to find managers and get top-quality coaches.

"Thank God we've got Mattie and look at Crokes, they have Ollie Baker. They don't come around too easy. We're lucky to have them at the minute.

"When you have these coaches, you want to do as best as you can while you can. That is another thing because you never know what's around the corner.

Schutte reckons Cuala are a more confident club for having won their first Dublin title.

"To win the first one was always the monkey on our back. There was always doubts there until you actually win one and we did win one last year.

"This year is a totally different year. It's new challenges, we've got Crokes, they've won two so they'd probably be in the same mould as ourselves, they know what it takes to win so it's going to be a massive challenge now this weekend."

These sides have already met in the championship when they drew in the first round of the group stages and Schutte thinks his side can improve from that showing.

"Getting back to another final (is good) because there's always going to be a target on your back as champions and we've understood that since we came out in the first round.

"Crokes probably should have beaten us the first day we played them in the first group game. Ever since then every team has put it up to us in a massive way. They've upped their game.

"Luckily enough, we've got ourselves back into a championship final which shows great character from our side.

"Hopefully we bring that character and bit of execution skill-wise into the final. That's certainly what we are hoping to do." 

Irish Independent

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