Thursday 19 April 2018

Cunningham 'looking forward to next year'

Cunningham: Dubs making progress
Cunningham: Dubs making progress

Jackie Cahill

Ger Cunningham believes that the Dublin hurlers were "competitive and consistent" in 2015, and is already looking ahead to next year.

In his first season at the helm, the former Cork star kept Dublin in Division 1A of the Allianz League and presided over Championship victories against Laois and Limerick.

Dublin lost heavily to Galway in the Leinster quarter-final replay, and their season ended against Waterford in last Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final but Cunningham is satisfied with the team's progress this year.

"We were in the last six. A couple of pucks of the ball and it could have gone either way, a couple of decisions didn't go our way (on Sunday)," said the Bord Gáis Energy ambassador.

"We need to go away, learn and reflect. I'm looking forward to next year.

"I don't think our season should be defined by 15 minutes in Tullamore (when Dublin found themselves 3-10 to 0-1 down against Galway after 19 minutes)."

Cork-based Cunningham admitted that juggling his day job and the demands of senior intercounty management has been difficult.

"It takes up a lot of time. It is has been very challenging, and rewarding as well," he said. "It is grand when you are going to training, you are planning, you are thinking ahead all the time, but your energy levels go down after a (training) session.

"Having to face the road home can be tough. But overall it has been great. I've enjoyed the experience."

Cunningham admitted that he is hurting after Sunday's defeat but is determined to stick with the job.

He explained: "Our players have the same ambitions as any other players - the top counties. They want to win All-Irelands and leagues."

Overall, Cunningham is pleased with Dublin's season, adding: "We're in Division 1A, a very competitive league where you have five matches and you don't really have room to experiment if you want to maintain your status, which we did.

"We got to the League semi-final, a game we should have beaten Cork in.

"In the first round of the Championship, we had Galway nearly put away, and look at where Galway are now.

"We had to regroup and we had two very good victories. We had to get to know the players and the players had to get to know us. It's been a learning experience."

Irish Independent

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