Friday 23 February 2018

Axe from Dublin hurling panel leaves Alan Nolan 'disappointed' and 'frustrated'

Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan has been left 'puzzled' after he was axed from the county’s hurling panel
Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan has been left 'puzzled' after he was axed from the county’s hurling panel

Jackie Cahill

Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan has voiced his "frustration" and "disappointment" after he was axed from the county's hurling panel.

Nolan, 30, was one of two experienced players let go by manager Ger Cunningham last week.

Versatile Simon Lambert was also cut from Cunningham's squad, and has since accused the former Cork goalkeeper of "disrespect".

Nolan has now given his version of events and, while insisting that he's not in any way bitter about the decision, he described the move as "puzzling".

The St Brigid's clubman said: "When Ger was first appointed, I was looking forward to working with a man of such goalkeeping experience.

"I played the entire National League campaign in 2015 and also in the two Leinster Championship games against Galway, but lost my place after that.

"I played no further part in the championship but did make the recent trip to Boston for the Fenway Hurling Classic against Galway.

"On that matter, I wish to clarify that this decision to let me go is not related in any way to disciplinary matters arising from that game. Ger probably had made up his mind that I was surplus to requirements before the trip to the US.

"I'm also disappointed that my name was singled out in the media from the 22 players involved in the so-called Boston brawl.

"However, what's even more disappointing was learning that I will not be involved with the Dublin team next year.

"I'm more annoyed than anything else. I understand that panels change - that's part of hurling.

"I'm not the first person to be dropped and I won't be the last. But having given ten years of service to the Dublin team, for it all to be undone like this is frustrating."

Gary Maguire reclaimed his place in goal following Dublin's heavy defeat to Galway and now looks set to be reinstated as the long term number one.

With Conor Dooley, who can also play outfield, on board as back-up, Nolan has been left out in the cold.

"Ger told me that I didn't take being dropped after the Galway replay too well," added Nolan (left).

"I said, 'Ger, I was seven years waiting to get my game and now this happens. I think anybody in my position would have felt exactly the same.' I'm only human.

"Naturally, it was disappointing to lose my place but I continued to work hard in training and endeavoured to push Gary as hard as I possibly could to ensure that he was in peak condition for the games against Laois, Limerick and Waterford.

"My next challenge is to keep my head down, work hard and try to make my way back into the squad."

Irish Independent

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