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Sutcliffe: Hiney's loss means younger Dubs must step into the breach

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Dublin's Danny Sutcliffe. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Danny Sutcliffe. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Danny Sutcliffe. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

DANNY SUTCLIFFE insists it is now incumbent upon himself and others to step into the leadership void vacated by the recently retired Stephen Hiney.

"I consider myself someone that hopefully lads can turn to during the summer and I obviously wasn't there," he explained.

"I didn't do much this year and I'm hoping that I can be that (player) for tight situations. We always depend on Rushey, Kel (Peter Kelly), Keaney so I think there's a few other lads like myself, Mark Schutte and a few lads there and it's up to ourselves.

"We can't keep depending on the four or five to get a performance in," he added.

"Some days they're going to have an off day so if we can develop one or two more, myself included."

character

Sutcliffe admits he was "sad to see" Hiney call time on his inter-county career last week but insisted "every man is replaceable".

"That's just the character he is," said the 2013 All Star of Hiney's decision to hang up his Dublin boots.

"He went straight away 'I'm not going to be able to give that commitment'. He doesn't have to answer to anyone for what's he's given.

"Especially for a lot of lads like myself and Trollier (Eamon Dillon); when we came in, talk about a focal point.

"When you come into it first, you see lads like (Conal) Keaney we grew up watching and to come in, the likes of himself and Gary Maguire have been great for lads like us.

"Yeah, sad to see him go. But that's the way it goes. Every man is replaceable and there are spots there now for lads. I wish him the best of luck."

Hiney is expected to be the only retirement from last year's squad, with Conal Keaney set to commit for another year under the new reign of Ger Cunningham and already, Sutcliffe says, the change of managerial scenery has had an effect on the group.

"I don't know anything but Anthony Daly," he explained. "A lot of us don't. It's just a fresh start.

"It's just that fresh competitive edge. There's a spot there for anyone. You could be playing anywhere now. You don't know who he wants to or where he wants to play anyone.

"So yeah, you just have to keep sharp over Christmas and keep the body in shape because there are spots up for grab and lads know that.

"Anything so far, even when you contact him, he's very articulate. Everything is covered. I know we'll have the best set up we can have.

"So it's really up to ourselves to go out and do the business.

"I was talking to (Cork dual player) Aidan Walsh there and he said 'you wont have a better set up'. Everything will be boxed off. That's all you can ask for really.

"He's ambitious as well," Sutcliffe added.

continuity

"You know from talking to him as well. He's done it at Fitzgibbon Cup level and club and as a player so you can't really go any higher."

There is, in the form of Tommy Dunne, some continuity from Daly's backroom team and Sutcliffe for one, is glad the former Tipperary star accepted Cunningham's invitation to stay aboard.

"Tommy Dunne is there and we know Tommy for the last year and a half. He's an unbelievable trainer," praised the St Jude's man.

"Nothing to do with picking the team or anything. Just ball drills and getting us to improve technically.

"You saw that in 2013, our stick levels were as good as anyone and that was down to Tommy," Suctliffe concluded.

"So, delighted he came back."


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