Wednesday 21 February 2018

Cian O'Sullivan tips Dublin's All-Ireland veterans to return for more

Cian O'Sullivan: 'I'm feeling good. Haven't played much football now the last number of weeks, enjoyed the break and feel well-rested'
Cian O'Sullivan: 'I'm feeling good. Haven't played much football now the last number of weeks, enjoyed the break and feel well-rested'
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Like much of the inter-county playing population, Cian O'Sullivan's down time this winter was for recuperation.

The new season is already rolling into view but there is housekeeping to be carried out first before heavy legs can be asked to move again, before O'Sullivan and Co can return to the well to see what is there.

An early exit from club action with Kilmacud Crokes means he had more of a break this year than perhaps O'Sullivan is used to but there's no such thing as a complete cessation of activities.

While doing nothing would be an appealing idea, it just wouldn't pay in the long term.

O'Sullivan is in the gym twice a week these days, just to maintain his conditioning and to keep his troublesome hamstring in check.

It's a worthwhile investment in his long-term health especially seeing as his hamstring almost ruled him out of the All-Ireland final.

In the end, Jim Gavin decided O'Sullivan was worth the risk. He started the All-Ireland final without knowing just how long he'd last.

In the end it all worked out for him and Dublin as they secured another All-Ireland title.

"We only had two weeks so I couldn't really test it out properly in the lead-up to the game, so it was a bit of an unknown whether it was going to hold up or not," O'Sullivan recalled at the launch of 2015 GOAL Mile in Dublin.

"I couldn't really do a full training session the week of the game because you run the risk of losing a day or two of possible recovery.

"It was kind of ninth-hour stuff.

"Luckily, it held up for 60 minutes and that is probably as much as I could have hoped for really.

"The main fear was that five minutes into the game it would have gone and it would have forced the team into making a change at a time in the game where we could have avoided making a change, so thankfully that didn't happen.

"The hamstring is fully healed at this stage, rehab has gone well.

"I'm feeling good. Haven't played much football now the last number of weeks, enjoyed the break and feel well-rested.

"I'm looking forward to getting back training in the New Year."

Dublin will draw a line under 2015 this weekend. They are just back from a team holiday in Thailand where they spent a fortnight.

On Friday, they'll be presented with their All-Ireland medals. After that, they'll be expected to move on and go again.

Once again, they'll look to defend their title, something that eluded them in both 2012 and 2014.

"We will meet up over the next couple of weeks and set out the stall for the new year," O'Sullivan said. "The O'Byrne Cup is coming now on January 3, and we have the Blue Stars game on January 2 this year.


"That's when it really kicks off again, start playing games again. I think all the lads are looking forward to getting back into the mix and getting training again.

"I haven't really tested out the hamstring yet. I'm hoping to get a good block of prehab in in the first couple of weeks of training. I'll just see how the leg responds to that and see how the body is feeling.

"I'm looking forward to getting back training and playing games is what you want to do. So hopefully I'll be involved for the first couple."

All that's left is for their senior stars to decide whether they'll be back for more. Alan Brogan and Denis Bastick are those considered most likely to move on but O'Sullivan expects Gavin to be choosing from a full deck come the New Year.

"When you are coming off the back of the year that we had, it's hard to say that you are not going to come back again and give it another lash.

"But that's a question you are going to have to ask the lads. As for now I haven't heard any indications that they won't return and they are to massive players for us, just in terms of their leadership.

"They have seen it all before and they are two guys when they speak in the dressing room everybody shuts up and listens.

"It would be a blow if they decided not to come back but for now I have every impression that they will."

Irish Independent

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