Tuesday 19 September 2017

'Would Anthony Daly be the right man to re-galvanise Dublin hurling?' - John Mullane

Anthony Daly
Anthony Daly

Conor Neville

Anthony Daly's final match in charge of Dublin was a limp defeat to Tipperary in the 2014 All-Ireland quarter-final.

It was a jarring finale after an often successful six seasons in charge, albeit one which also contained its fair share of down days.

At the time it was remarked that many of those Dublin players were a long time on the road and potentially past their peak.

Three years on, only two of the Dublin starters that day featured in this year's sorry Leinster championship tilt.

Ger Cunningham's management has evidently alienated the older guard, all of whom were fiercely loyal to Daly. Far more damningly, many of those making themselves unavailable are a long way off their hurling dotage.

In the meantime, Dublin won three U21 Leinster titles on the trot and Cunningham, scorning the mutinous older lads, has relied almost entirely on the younger crop. Results have gotten progressively worse.

With Cunningham entering the final year of his contract, people are speculating about successors. Galway's Mattie Kenny won an All-Ireland club title with Cuala this year and is hotly tipped for the role but John Mullane is wondering aloud whether Daly might be tempted back by the challenge.

"I think Ger Cunningham deserves to be able to see out the year. And I think he's done some good things in the last couple of years and he's thrown in a couple of lads. But you wonder... I know Dalo left three years ago. Would Dalo be the right man to come in again and re-galvinise the whole thing and get Dublin hurling back on track?"

The Irish Independent's Colm Keys is sceptical about the prospect.

"I don't know whether it would be the best thing for Anthony. He might relish the challenge but he might just stop short of it. Second comings don't always work out great. Now there are instances where they have, of course. He would be the ideal man for it but I think personally he might just stop short of it. I think something might stop him going back a second time."

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