Sunday 21 October 2018

Keaney back with Dublin hurlers after recall

Conal Keaney. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Conal Keaney. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Conal Keaney is part of the Dublin hurling panel once more after being brought back into the set-up by manager Pat Gilroy.

The call-up for the 35-year-old represents another entry in Keaney's eventful county career which has seen him line out for the Dublin hurling and football squads.

Keaney made his debut for the Dublin hurlers back in 2005 before joining the football panel under Paul 'Pillar' Caffrey. Keaney would stay with the footballers and played two seasons under Gilroy before moving back to line out for then hurling manager Anthony Daly in 2011.

The curtain looked to have come down on his inter-county career when he announced his retirement last April, shortly after he won a club football All-Ireland title with his club Ballyboden St Enda's.

However, it appears Gilroy has been able to persuade him to return to the set-up as he looks to revive the county's fortunes after an indifferent couple of seasons.

Keaney will bring experience to the squad and was part of the panel that won a NHL title and a Leinster crown during Daly's reign.

The new Dublin manager has been able to persuade a number of players who had stepped away at various points in the last few seasons to return. Keaney joins the likes of former All-Star Danny Sutcliffe and ex-captain Johnny McCaffrey in returning.

Dublin are in Bord na Móna Walsh Cup semi-final action this weekend when they take on Wexford in Parnell Park on Sunday while they will start their Division 1B campaign on January 27 against Offaly in Croke Park as part of a double-header that also sees Jim Gavin's footballers tackle Kildare.

Gilroy's charges will start their Leinster Championship campaign when Kilkenny come to Parnell Park on May 13.

Elsewhere, Brian Gavin has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling refereeing.

Gavin was one of the top-rated officials in the game having taken charge of four All-Ireland finals in six years.

"I'll definitely miss it, there's no doubt, but I just feel I've come to the right decision," he told GAA.ie. "It's getting harder every year. Even though I'm only 40 I'm still 20 years older than some of the players, so it's getting tougher and tougher.

"I enjoyed my time, I had four All-Ireland finals and four Munster finals. I'd probably say now I would have liked to get five All-Irelands, but when I started off I would have been thrilled with even one."

 

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