Sunday 21 January 2018

Busy schedule no issue for young Dublin star McHugh

Conor McHugh believes he can continue to improve while surrounded by Dublin's impressive array of attacking options. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Conor McHugh believes he can continue to improve while surrounded by Dublin's impressive array of attacking options. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

These are busy times for Conor McHugh. This weekend, he'll travel to Cork with the rest of the DCU squad in search of Sigerson honours where he faces the prospect of two top-class games in 24 hours.

He's also just a couple of weeks away from the start of Dublin's U-21 campaign that will see them attempt to defend their Leinster and All-Ireland titles. On top of that, there's also the small matter of trying to stay in Jim Gavin's plans, having featured off the bench against Cork in their league opener.

It's hectic but still, he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I'm happy enough to play as much as I can," said the Na Fianna youngster. "Playing games is the enjoyable part. It's handled very well, between the three managers.

"We discuss what you're doing, tell them what you've done for the week, and if you've done too much they tell them not to train."

McHugh was one of a host of talented dual players that Dublin have produced of late but he quickly made the decision to concentrate on football and it looks to be paying off.

Difficult

"It was very difficult to do both," he said.

"I played U-21 hurling when I was 19 and (in 2013) because the footballers were beaten early by Longford, so I had the chance to go back and play.

"Last year we got to the final and the U-21 hurlers had three months' work done so I didn't want to go back in and disrupt it.

"It's tough to do dual so I'm just concentrating on football.

"I wasn't even hurling with Na Fianna. . . if you're changing each week, you're not going to be as strong at one. I'm just kind of concentrating on one."

The Economics and Law student hit a hugely impressive 1-6 in last year's All-Ireland U-21 final win over Roscommon, claiming the man of the match award.

Such is the wealth of options at Gavin's disposable, he had to be patient with regards to senior recognition but he had no concerns at not catching senior management's attention last year.

"I wasn't too worried. We had strong enough forwards as it was. If I got the call-up it would have been great but I was happy enough to work away with my club and keep going."

And now that he is in, he believes he can continue to improve while surrounded by Dublin's impressive array of attacking options.

"I think it's a good thing because you're going to get better playing with those forwards. You're happy enough because you're going to have to improve to match them lads. So you're pushing yourself that extra bit harder," he said.

Irish Independent

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