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Kilkenny puts AFL on hold in bid to live dual Dublin dream

CIARAN KILKENNY is hoping to play both senior football and hurling for Dublin this summer -- provided he gets the 'okay' from his father.

The 18-year-old starlet will team up with Pat Gilroy's football squad after he finishes his Leaving Cert on June 14 and Anthony Daly has also been in touch with a view to including him in the hurling squad.

"My dad was talking to Anthony at the start of the year. He would be interested to have me on his panel and I'd be interested to play on that team as well ... but that's all up to my dad," said Kilkenny.

"I'll have to get the Leaving Cert out of the way first, but I'd love to play senior football and hurling for the county."

Conal Keaney explored the possibility of lining out for both sides before opting for hurling at the start of last year, and Kilkenny believes it can be done.

"Eoin Cadogan and people through the years (have played both). Teddy McCarthy is a legend of Cork hurling and football -- he managed to do it... Jack Lynch too, people like this.

"They managed to do it, but these days football and hurling have become a lot more scientific.

"It would be tough to do it, but I'd like to do it myself. I'd have to discuss that with the two managers and my dad."

Kilkenny, who was named the Cadbury Hero of the Future in recognition of his exploits for Dublin's All-Ireland-winning U-21 footballers, revealed that he had turned down an invitation to Australia this summer, having given a commitment to the county's senior footballers.

AFL clubs are required to register their drafts by December, and Kilkenny confirmed that the Melbourne-based Carlton outfit were the "only option."

"I was asked to go out for two weeks, from June 25 to I think July 8 or 10. But I gave my loyalties to the senior team this summer, because I'd like to get a chance of playing with them and I'd like to get a good few weeks training in.

"I'd like to concentrate on that, and then maybe later on in the year I'd like to go out to Australia for two weeks and get a taste of that as well."

Irish Independent