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It's no such a long way


Dublin's Ryan O'Dwyer, Dublin. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Ryan O'Dwyer, Dublin. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Ryan O'Dwyer, Dublin. Picture: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's other Tipperary links


YOU suggest to Anthony Daly that Ryan O'Dwyer is more a feature of the Dublin hurling team's architecture than merely a part of the furniture and immediately he laughs at the mention of one of his favourite subjects, or "Dwyer" as he is affectionately dubbed.

"When the stats come back," Daly explains, "Dwyer is usually at the top of turnovers and tackle count. Hooks and blocks, he's always in the top three. The likes of himself and Keaney and maybe Johnny Mac."

In the 2011 All-Ireland quarter-final against Limerick, he scored three goals but O'Dwyer's charm has always been in his ability to endure and induce severe physical punishment and work harder for his team than anyone else on the pitch.

There is real hope this year that O'Dwyer might even go two full games without suffering concussion or requiring the application of stitches.

But once summer dawns and results matter, it's unlikely.

"To be fair to him, over the last couple of seasons, he has really worked on that side of his game," Daly insists of the disciplinary issues such an approach naturally attracts.

"It was unfortunate last year that it was the big day (the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork) that he got the two yellow cards.

"But he hardly got another yellow in the whole year. But you can't take that side of his game away. He wouldn't be the same hurler."


THE genesis of Tommy Dunne's association with Dublin is Ross Dunphy, the team's physical trainer as of the beginning of last year.

Having been abruptly landed with the news that Martin Kennedy was taking his NADA operation off to the footballers, Daly was left, as he admits himself "with a fair hole to fill".

Four candidates were interviewed and Dunphy, a commandant in the Irish Army and head of physical education with the Defence Forces based in the Curragh, was easily the pick of the lot.

A Wexford man with a background in Gaelic football and soccer and a degree from UL in sport and exercise science, Dunphy had worked with Dunne previously with Toomevara and in Declan Ryan's Tipperary backroom team and thus, he made a recommendation to Daly.

By the end of the year, Dunne was conducting one training session a week, roughly ten in total, and by the end, Daly was hugely enthusiastic about continuing the arrangement into this season.

"It's along my mantra," he explains. "There is no sexy solution.

"It's simple stuff done really well. Don't ever underestimate the simple stuff."

Currently, Dunne oversees one training a week on Thursday nights but will, as spring bleeds into summer, double that work load.

"Any meetings we'd have, Tommy would be at them. He's at all the matches, too," Daly outlines. "Realistically, Tommy would be fully-fledged involved now."