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Daly's delight at return of 'leader' Hiney


Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly. Picture: Caroline Quinn

SINCE he took up office on capital hill, Anthony Daly has met a few bravehearts. Stephen Hiney is among them.

"It's great to see him back out for us as we begin another season," reflected the county chief following the annual Dubs Stars appointment.

"He looked really sharp. Maybe he gave some thought to hanging up the boots, but it's a big boost for all the lads that he's still here. He is a leader around the place."

There are many new recruits now looking up to the Boden balladeer. "We have brought plenty of new guys onto the panel and they'll all get their chance now," added Daly.

"We have challenge matches coming up against Waterford on Sunday, Na Piarsaigh, Loughgiel and UL. These fellas will all get their opportunity in the next few weeks.

"You need lads pushing. That is what you want to see. It gives you more options."

Dublin will be defending the Walsh Cup. "We want to win it again, but, at the same time, we want to experiment as well.



"With the league system remaining the same, you have little chance to try things out there, so we'll be using the Walsh Cup to give lads a run. You don't find out about fellas until you play them in games."

Unlike other years, injuries, touch timber, have not been a burden.

"Michael Carton has a hamstring tear and Simon Lambert will miss most of the campaign with the cruciate. He might get back later on in the season. But outside of that, we are okay injury-wise."

With the Leinster Championship title on the sideboard and after coming within inches of stepping out on the red carpet of All-Ireland final, Daly had many sweet thoughts over the past couple of months.

But his mind still drifted back to 2012. "I don't know what exactly went wrong in 2012.

"Kilkenny beat us, Clare beat us, and they have won the last two All-Ireland's. The National League was very tight. This season we'll try and do everything as right as we can again and try to improve that little bit. We are not going to be reinventing the wheel."

Kilkenny are never far from his thoughts – even in the bleak mid-winter under the Round Tower. This time it was Ciarán Kilkenny.

"I had a chat with Ciarán. I have got to know him. He'd love to have a go at the hurling with us, but I don't know how practical that is.

"There is no big story in it. And I wouldn't like it to become one. It is very difficult to combine both sports with all the demands. It's hard to leave the All-Ireland champions. That's the reality of it, and we understand that."