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Eoghan O’Donnell returns but Dublin hurlers set to lose key duo

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Dublin's Eoghan O’Donnell, in action against Galway's Cathal Mannion, is concentrating on the county hurlers next year. Photo: Ray Ryan/Sportsfile

Dublin's Eoghan O’Donnell, in action against Galway's Cathal Mannion, is concentrating on the county hurlers next year. Photo: Ray Ryan/Sportsfile

Dublin's Eoghan O’Donnell, in action against Galway's Cathal Mannion, is concentrating on the county hurlers next year. Photo: Ray Ryan/Sportsfile

Hurling remains the priority for Eoghan O’Donnell, with sources close to the Dublin camp indicating that the tenacious defender is set to return to the small ball for the 2023 season, which will be a major boost for new manager Micheál Donoghue.

O’Donnell, who captained Dublin this year, made a sensational switch to Dessie Farrell’s footballers after the hurlers made an early championship exit, and he even featured off the bench late on in their All-Ireland SFC quarter-final defeat of Cork.

The Whitehall Colmcille clubman played no part in their epic defeat to Kerry in the last four, however, and he will focus his full attention on the hurlers again this year, as Donoghue attempts to make a big splash in the capital.

Donoghue, who famously led Galway to All-Ireland SHC success in 2017, has already been dealt a couple of high-profile setbacks, though, with travel on the agenda for both Chris Crummey and CianO’Callaghan.

Crummey has been one of Dublin’s best players in recent years, across a variety of positions. O’Callaghan, older brother of football star Con, was vice-captain this year, but both are set to be ruled out for a large chunk of next season, at the least.

It is not yet known whether the pair will miss the entire year, but that looks a distinct possibility, as Donoghue bids to turn around the county’s fortunes after failing to qualify from the Leinster SHC round-robin series earlier this year under Mattie Kenny.

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