Gilroy insists Dublin now have a mountain to climb after debut

Dublin 55 Galway 39

Team captains Colm Callanan of Galway and Danny Sutcliffe of Dublin with referee Johnny Ryan before the AIG Super 11’s Fenway Classic Semi-Final match between Dublin and Galway at Fenway Park in Boston. Photo: Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

An inauspicious start to the Pat Girloy era in Boston yesterday.

Fenway Park was a suitably iconic venue to kick off his tenure as Dublin hurling manager but Gilroy was inclined to issue a dose of reality, insisting his team had "a mountain ahead of us," to get back to contending for titles.

"Where we are at the moment, we are quite low down in the pecking order," Gilroy outlined.

"I don't think, for all of the hurling going on in Dublin for the last 15 years, the standard we are at, we should be better than (that).

"The only way we can get there is through hard work and we have a busy schedule ahead of us. We will take it one game at a time because we have to.

"We are a team that needs to learn how to be consistent because some of the performances in the last three years have been very good too.

"We have had some great results but we need to have that consistency to become a top four team."

And almost two years to the day of his last appearance for Dublin in Fenway Park, Danny Sutcliffe made his inter-county comeback at the same venue.

Gilroy even made him captain, although Sutcliffe was adamant that he still had to fully justify his re-existence in the Dublin squad.

"I've to prove it to myself now more than anything," he insisted after scoring eight points in Dublin's 55 to 39 defeat to a much bigger, more experienced Galway team.

"I wouldn't have come back if I didn't think I had a chance."

Largely, the Dublin squad was made up of new faces, all of whom are curre ntly part of Gilroy's extended training panel, which he plans to trim before Christmas.

He revealed he had already had "a lot of conversations with a lot of people," to try and establish the reasons for Dublin's alarming slide but insisted every player was starting with a clean slate.

"The enthusiasm of the boys has been fantastic. The response from the clubs and everyone around it has been great.

"We have had very little time to get together but everyone has rowed in behind us, the county board and everyone.

"I've been pretty happy with it so far.

"So far there has been great enthusiasm from the people around it.

"We could only bring 24 of them here so we have another 20 lads, that we will whittle down come Christmas time.

"We had that regional tournament that went very well. There was one or two guys who were older who said that they didn't fancy doing that (training) but pretty much the response has been 100 percent."

Gilroy was also adamant that he would not be making contact with any of Cuala's players until after their club campaign ends.

"I'd have a very strong view that when a team is involved with club, you just leave them alone. That's their concentration," he explained.


"I haven't discussed anything with them. I got in touch with Mattie Kenny and said: 'Look I won't be talking to anybody'. Nothing. I don't want anybody to distract them at all.

"I said, 'As soon as your finished, hopefully that's March, we'll talk to them then'.

"I really firmly believe that the club teams that represent you in the All-Ireland series, you should give them the best chance to succeed. Give them no distraction.

"If I was talking to some fella, and he says 'I'm interested, or not interested' it could knock him off for the club. So I'm just not doing that."

SCORERS - Galway: J Flynn 20, C Cooney 10, P Breheny 9, S Maloney, D Glennon 5 each, J Coen, J Cooney 3 each. Dublin: D Sutcliffe, J Hetherton 8 each, P Winters, P Crummey, J Madde, F Whitely, D Burke, E McKenna, C O'Sullivan 3 each.

DUBLIN: J Tracey, P Smyth, S Barrett, S O'Connor, J Madden, K Hetherton, F Whitely, G Whelan, D Sutcliffe, J Hetherton, T Connolly. Subs: P Winters, E Boland, P Crummey, D Burke, D Gormley, R Hayes, S Chester, D Kelly, C Costello, D Gray, N McMorrow, A Moore, E McKenna, C O'Sullivan, C MacGabhann.

GALWAY: C Callanan, C Whelan, P Mannion, A Tuohey, B Molloy, C Cooney, E Burke, J Hanbury, J Coen, Joseph Cooney, Martin Dolphin.

Subs: C Mannion, C Donnellan, David Burke, Daithi Burke, D Glennon, G McInerney, J Flynn, J Glynn, M Donohue, N Burke, P Breheny, P Flaherty, R Burke, S Loftus, S Moloney.

REF: J Ryan (Tipperary)