DAVID O'CALLAGHAN has called for a combined Tallaght team to be allowed enter the Dublin club hurling championship.
The Dublin forward made his call as he explained the reasoning behind his closed-season transfer from his home club, St Mark's, to Ballyboden St Enda's.
Essentially, O'Callaghan has switched club allegiance because hurling has hit the rocks in Mark's and he needed an environment that would enable him to keep playing at the top level.
Yet, it's not just in Mark's that hurling is struggling to gain traction. The problem extends beyond that pocket of Tallaght.
"I think it was done before Christmas," he says of his transfer. "Look, it was a very tough thing for me to do. I've been at Mark's all my life and I have had great times and memories there.
"It's just unfortunate the hurling has slipped back a lot over the last couple of years and a gap has developed in underage teams where we don't actually have a team. Mark's have lost a lot of lads to other clubs and unfortunately they're unlikely to return.
"I'd be calling for a combined Tallaght hurling team at this stage," he expands. "Maybe that's something that could be looked at, even for underage as well. If you could have something along those lines, you could try and raise the standards and maybe you could have a Tallaght team competing in the senior championship at some stage."
Potential clubs coming under a 'Tallaght United' umbrella could include Thomas Davis, St Anne's, St Kevins Killians and, of course, Mark's. It remains to be seen what appetite would exist for such a merger, but O'Callaghan reasons that this would raise small ball standards in Tallaght, even if were initially limited to underage.
As for his own transfer, he insists it was "never something I particularly wanted to do. Ballyboden is down the road from me and I'd be friendly with a lot of lads there too. Look, at this stage I'm delighted to have the opportunity. I'm 31, I'm really enjoying my hurling. I'm looking forward to playing at the top level for the next couple of years."
Asked if extending his Dublin career was another motive, he says there was "an element of that too" but it was primarily about ensuring he had a "high level of hurling for the next couple of years".
As for his former colleagues, he stresses: "There hasn't been any animosity. I was over at the AGM, I had dinner in Mark's over the Christmas. There's no issue, to be honest with you. They've wished me well. That kind of helped make the move a bit easier for me."