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Dubs ace Brady changes codes

TOMAS BRADY has become the latest Dublin dual star to ‘cross codes’ after confirming that he’s leaving the Sky Blue hurling fold to try and establish his claims as a senior inter-county footballer.

The Na Fianna clubman has always been better known as a hurler, with the small ball game his primary focus since first starring as a Leinster winning minor in 2005, but his footballing prowess has never been in doubt either.

He has featured as a Dublin footballer both as minor and U21 level, while continuing to play senior club football with the Mobhi Road outfit - often in the full-forward line.

However, it’s understood that new Dublin football manager Jim Gavin may be considering a more defensive role for the dual powerhouse, possibly at centre-back.

Clearly Brady has been swayed by Gavin’s arrival in the hotseat but, by the same token, his departure constitutes a major blow to Anthony Daly.

The Dublin hurling supremo has already lost his strength and conditioning coach, Martin Kennedy, to the new football management set-up. Now Brady has confirmed to the Evening Herald that he is throwing in his lot with the footballers too.

Contacted about Brady’s departure, Daly said he was “very disappointed to hear the news from Tomás. I wish him the best of luck - he's a fine fella.

“But it's very disappointing from a Dublin hurling point of view. A guy has to follow his heart, and if that is what he wants to do there is nothing we can do about it.”

Brady had been a full-back mainstay of Daly’s team until he suffered a dreaded cruciate ligament injury in June 2010, during the early stages of Dublin’s Leinster semi-final victory over Galway in Tullamore.

Along with fellow cruciate victims Stephen Hiney and Conal Keaney, he battled back to make the starting grid for this year’s championship campaign - which proved a massive anti-climax after the historic highs of 2010, when Dublin won an Allianz National League Division 1 crown and reached an All-Ireland semi-final.

After much consideration, Daly has been coaxed back for a fifth year with the Dubs and he is determined that Brady’s loss won’t prove a crippling blow.

“There's a massive resilience within the group this year, and we'll be getting together late next week. There's a great hunger in the squad,” he stressed.

“It's a setback, but we'll get on with it and we're determined to put last year right.

“We didn't have Tomás last year, not really right, until the Clare game - the knee was never fully right but it is now. On the positive side, Conal and Stephen have come through the club football championship.”

Daly added: “It's a big disappointment to lose another quality fella.

“It's hard going after Martin Kennedy, but we are looking to finalise a replacement.”