Saturday 21 July 2018

Niall Corcoran: It could take Gilroy three years to get Dubs to click

Cuala’s Shane Stapleton, left, and Kilmacud Crokes’ Niall Corcoran at yesterday’s media day ahead of the Dublin SFC/SHC finals at Parnell Park. Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cuala’s Shane Stapleton, left, and Kilmacud Crokes’ Niall Corcoran at yesterday’s media day ahead of the Dublin SFC/SHC finals at Parnell Park. Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Dublin hurler Niall Corcoran believes the appointment of Pat Gilroy as manager of the county side has brought "an excitement" to the county's hurling fraternity but warns the former football boss will need time to bring success.

Galway native Corcoran hurled for the Dubs from 2008 to 2016 and believes Gilroy can transform the fortunes of the county after an indifferent spell under Ger Cunningham.

"Even just from talking to some of the players, there's an excitement around the place," Corcoran said.

"Dotsy O'Callaghan is in the gym three times a week, which is very unusual for him! It will depend on the hurling coach as well and who goes in with him. That will be crucial, I think."

Former Galway boss Anthony Cunningham has been tipped to act as coach under Gilroy. He was in charge of the Tribesmen at a time when the teams enjoyed a particularly spiky rivalry.

However, Corcoran believes the players will buy into his methods should he be added to Gilroy's coaching team.

"You look at the whole way Galway ended and how the players revolted against him and that's the last thing Dublin need," he continued.

"And you'd have to be cautious about that. I don't know the ins and outs of Galway but you'd have to be cautious.

"No doubt he has that experience of managing teams to All-Ireland finals. He has coached teams in both codes as well.

"I'd wonder though, how he'd fit in as not (being) manager. From what I hear, he likes to be the boss and Pat likes to be the boss too. So it will be interesting to see how that dynamic works.

"There's no doubt there has been a huge rivalry between Dublin and Galway in the past. There have been nasty enough affairs but if he comes in, it's no more than when Tommy Dunne came in, a Tipperary man.

"When he came in he set a high standard in training. If (Cunningham) does the same, the players will all just get on with it," said Corcoran, who will line out for Kilmacud Crokes in Saturday's Dublin SHC final clash with reigning All-Ireland club champions Cuala.

Corcoran accepts that appointing Gilroy is something of a risk given his predominately football background but warns that the county must now give him time to let his ideas take shape.

"That's certainly the first thing that will be thrown at them. You could maybe have a few coaches that are out there in the development squads that might be thinking what are they doing with a football guy in charge.

"But it's a hard one to call. When you look at Gilroy taking over the footballers, they were hammered by Kerry in 2009. I think they exploded against Meath in a Leinster Championship game.


"I think it will take a bit of time to put that squad together. Bar a couple of older players, maybe the likes of Dotsy and Ryan (O'Dwyer) and Gary Maguire, they are a fairly young squad.

"Obviously you have the likes of Liam Rushe there and David Treacy and you expect those guys to take on a leadership role now (along) with Chris Crummey. But I still think it will take the three years for him to develop his style."

Corcoran expects Gilroy to set high standards for the side.

"I know from talking to Rory O'Carroll in the past that when Pat came in with them (footballers) at the start, it was a very direct style of management.

"And I think long term, maybe that's what Dublin needs; to set those high standards and for the players to reach those standards."

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