Saturday 25 November 2017

Dubs jewel 'Dotsy' calls time on county career

O’Callaghan was one of the longest-serving players on the panel having made his championship debut for the Dublin hurlers against Westmeath in 2004. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
O’Callaghan was one of the longest-serving players on the panel having made his championship debut for the Dublin hurlers against Westmeath in 2004. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

David 'Dotsy' O'Callaghan will not be part of Pat Gilroy's Dublin hurling panel for 2018 after announcing his retirement from the inter-county game.

O'Callaghan was one of the longest-serving players on the panel having made his championship debut for the Dublin hurlers against Westmeath in 2004.

A talented dual player, the 34-year-old made his debut for the Dublin footballers a year earlier. He was part of both squads for a period in the mid-2000s and collected Leinster SFC titles in 2005 and '06.

From 2008 onwards, the St Mark's man concentrated solely on hurling and was part of the side that won a league title in 2011 and a Leinster crown two years later under Clare great Anthony Daly.

O'Callaghan struggled with a back injury for much of last year but returned for the back-end of their campaign.

Having initially indicated he'd be open to a return in August, O'Callaghan has decided to call time on his county career.

"It's been a great honour and dream come true for me to represent Dublin over the last 15 years," read a statement, issued through Dublin GAA.

"I would simply like to thank and pay tribute to all my teachers, everyone in St Mark's GAA club, the Dublin supporters, the Dublin development squad mentors, right up to the senior management, back-room and medical teams for all their help and encouragement, and to all the great players past and present I've been lucky to soldier alongside. 

"A special mention to my family for putting up with my mood swings before big games! 

"To all the staff in Parnell Park and the GPA I also thank you for all your assistance throughout. 

"Finally, I would like to wish Pat Gilroy, his management team and all the players the best of luck for 2018 in what are exciting times for Dublin hurling." 

The Dublin county board thanked O'Callaghan for his service.

"On behalf of everyone in the Dublin county board and the wider Dublin GAA community, we would like to thank 'Dotsy' for his service to his county, and wish him the very best for the future."

Gilroy's panel is expected to look much different from the one that Ger Cunningham fielded in 2017.

Former All-Star Danny Sutcliffe is understood to be back on board after his self-imposed exile while Paul Schutte left the door open for his possible return.

It is expected that others who didn't feature under Cunningham this year will also be included.

Dublin are preparing for a trip to Boston where they will take part in an exhibition game along with Tipperary, Clare and All-Ireland champions Galway.

Elsewhere, the Banner hurlers have confirmed their back-room team for the coming season with Galway native Gavin Keary named as coach.

The Loughrea man joins after helping the Galway minors win All-Ireland titles in 2015 and 2017. Keary replaces Donal Óg Cusack, who stepped down from the role last month.

Also joining joint-managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor are Jimmy Browne (coach/selector), Kieran Corcoran (selector), Liam Cronin (coach) and Kelvin Harold (strength and conditioning).

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