Thursday 25 December 2014

Dublin manager hits out at ill-informed ex-player pundits

Published 31/07/2013 | 05:00

Dublin are reaping reward of Anthony Daly's decision to put more emphasis on skill
Dublin are reaping reward of Anthony Daly's decision to put more emphasis on skill

HE hasn't quite gone as far as Kildare boss Kieran McGeeney – who called some players-turned- pundits "cowards" – but Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly reckons some analysts are far too quick to jump to conclusions.

Dublin's preparation for this year's National League semi-finals was called into question when it emerged they had a training weekend down on Bere Island the previous weekend.

When they subsequently played badly against Tipperary, many so-called experts questioned the timing of that trip.

But, according to Daly, there was a very good reason for its timing and that it was not as physically taxing as many people imagined.

"We all saw Eddie Brennan on 'the Sunday Game' telling us how stupid it was, a week before a league semi-final," Daly said.

"It was just the one weekend when we had a window of opportunity (to do it), because of the Fitzgibbon Cup (the third level colleges' SHC final)," he explained.

He pointed out that Dublin had players on the UCD team who made the Fitzgibbon weekend, while the county management was also conscious that, if DIT got through, a few more of their team, including Liam Rushe and David Treacy, would be involved.

He said his Dublin side also had to pre-plan for the possibility of reaching the Division 1B league final, which they eventually did, beating Limerick to book that place in the semi-finals.

"There was a weekend there and an opportunity there. We had to go for it. It was something we had to do as a team-building exercise. Every team from U-14 up do some sort of thing," Daly said.

The Dubs' resurrection as serious All-Ireland contenders, who now face Cork in the semi-final on Sunday week, has been one of the biggest stories of what has been a topsy-turvy summer.

Many of the results have left the pundits with egg on their faces and Daly, while not taking any serious offence, admitted that he is often bemused by some of the analysis.

"I remember a prominent ex-manager in the game saying how he saw a colleague of mine running a team a few years ago on a summer's evening and the stupidity of it all, and the sun shining!

"What he didn't know was that it was a football team from Milltown-Malbay that were after having it ('the craic') at the 'Willy Clancy' (the famous Irish music festival) and they needed a good run up a hill," Daly laughed.

"He (the 'story teller') had no idea, he was out walking a dog!

"I agree with McGeeney sometimes on stuff – I don't mean the cowards end of it – but some of the stuff that's said, these people don't really know," he added.

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