Friday 25 May 2018

'It would be a huge ask' - Pat Gilroy weighs in on Diarmuid Connolly's potential hurling switch

2 September 2011; Dublin manager Pat Gilroy in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during a training session ahead of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, on September 18th. Dublin Football Squad Training, Parnell Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
2 September 2011; Dublin manager Pat Gilroy in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during a training session ahead of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, on September 18th. Dublin Football Squad Training, Parnell Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

New Dublin hurling manager Pat Gilroy says it would be a 'huge ask' for Diarmuid Connolly to switch codes in 2018.

Connolly represented the hurlers at U21 level before embarking on an illustrious career with the footballers that has yielded five All-Ireland medals, but rumours have been swirling that Gilroy will target the 30-year-old ahead of his first season in charge.

The two-time All Star had a frustrating 2017, missing three championship matches through suspension and only featuring off the bench in the All-Ireland semi-final and final.

That, coupled with the fact that Gilroy was manager when Connolly won his first Celtic Cross in 2011, led to speculation that a reunion could be on the horizon.

Connolly played down the reports of a switch ahead of St Vincent's Dublin championship semi-final win over St Jude's last weekend and Gilroy, speaking to the media today ahead of the upcoming AIG Fenway Hurling Classic, said it would be a very tough transition if the Gaelic football star decided to play inter-county hurling next season.

"You're better off asking him that, than me," Gilroy said, in quotes reported by GAA.ie.

"Because really and truly it's up to him. It would be a huge ask for a fella who has played two hurling matches a year for ten years, because Vincent's weren't very good for the last ten years, to then turn around and say at 30 years of age now I'm going to switch over.

"There were other guys who did it like Conal Keaney, but Conal was playing a lot of hurling with his club. So I think it would be a big ask for him.

"And, to be honest, I'm not going to do anything here that has...you know, I put a lot of time and effort into my little contribution to Dublin football and I'm not going to do anything to damage that either. I want to see that being successful.

"It's one of the things I suppose, we're both Dublin teams, you know, and we should be working together. We're both for the same cause. I'd have a very good relationship with Jim and I don't see that changing."

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