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Rushe: Few hidden gems


IF Ger Cunningham is to be successful as Dublin's hurling manager, he must - by public consensus - initiate two broad movements.

Firstly, he must extract just a little more out of the recent mainstays of the team, particularly in attack.

And secondly, add and mix a generous sprinkling of new, mould-able talent.

Again, with a leaning towards forwards. Simple, really.

"I really enjoyed Donal Óg banging on there about during the year about how we need new forwards; clean sweep and find new players," says Liam Rushe wryly of the former Cork 'keeper's diagnosis of Dublin's plight and more to the point, Cusack's recommended course of action after their All-Ireland exit to Tipperary this summer.

"I was kind of looking going, 'What new players could he possibly be talking about?'

"The example everybody uses, we'd love to turn up a Seamus Harnedy. Every county would. Whether there is or not in Dublin, we'll wait and see."

You suspect from Rushe's tone that he believes that there isn't.

And attendees at the recent quarters and semi final stages of the Dublin SHC would likely, if asked, be unanimous in their assertion that any hidden gems on the club scene in the capital are a little too well hidden.

By his own reckoning, Rushe - perhaps a strong candidates for Dublin captain, were Cunningham to redeploy the role held by Johnny McCaffrey for the past five years - has answered the 'what about the dual players?' question "about 50 times," and thus, grimaces at the 51st airing.


They'd be welcome, he shrugs but adds: "If Daly couldn't sway them then I don't think they can be swayed.

"The footballers are a seriously strong year and I think those guys have their eyes on All-Ireland football glory."

He senses too, that there will be one or two retirements but won't disclose names until decisions are made.

Currently, Cunningham is understood to be assembling a back room team, comprising two Dublin-based selectors and two non natives; one of whom is expected to be Tommy Dunne.

"There's not much point having a selector who's just agreeing with every word you say," Rushe pointed out. "So yeah, lads with a bit of experience there certainly always helps."

Of Cunningham - who Rushe has yet to meet in a formal player/manager capacity - he says: "He has charisma in a different way to Anthony but I'd say he's probably a shrewd tactician, looking at him.

"As a goalkeeper he probably sees a lot more and has seen a lot more, knows what to be doing. I think he's laid down the gauntlet so far saying everyone who wants to try is welcome and I'm looking forward to that.

"We might turn up a few more players," concludes the St Pat's man.