Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dubs boss Cunningham hits back in 'respect' row​

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham Photo:Sportsfile
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham Photo:Sportsfile

Martin Breheny​

Ger Cunningham was "surprised and disappointed" by claims from Simon Lambert that the reasons given for omitting him from the Dublin hurling squad were 'disrespectful'.

Lambert and Alan Nolan, who has also been left out of the panel for 2016, took the unusual decision of publicly commenting on management's decision.

Lambert, 27, who played in both Leinster Championship games against Galway last summer, said in an interview last month that "the reasons given (for his omission) were in, my opinion, disrespectful".

The Ballyboden St Enda's man made his championship debut in 2008.

Nolan, 30, who lost the goalkeeping slot to Gary Maguire after Dublin's 5-19 to 1-18 defeat by Galway in the Leinster first round replay last June, also queried his omission.

"Having given 10 years of service to the Dublin team, to have it all undone like this is frustrating," said Nolan last month.

Now, in an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Cunningham has refuted Lambert's claims.

"Simon said he regarded the reasons given for leaving him off the panel as disrespectful. They were not and that's a fact. By meeting him and giving him the reasons (for his omission) I felt it would give him a good opportunity to go away and work on the issues I mentioned," said Cunningham.

Regarding Nolan's demotion, he said that management decided on two goalkeepers for 2016 and opted for Maguire and Conor Dooley.

"It's a call we made - that's what we're there for," said Cunningham.

Dublin will also be without Danny Sutcliffe this year, following the St Jude's man's decision to leave the panel of his own volition after the Fenway Classic in November.

"Danny had his own reasons for leaving the panel and I fully respect them," said Cunningham.

The manager insisted that the panel would remain open to every Dublin player and that the comments made by Lambert and Nolan would not count against them if their form warranted a recall.

"We (management) are bigger that. I understand their frustrations but management has a job to do," said Cunningham.

Irish Independent

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