Monday 16 September 2019

'No grudges' held against Dubs who left - O'Donnell

Dublin defender Eoghan O’Donnell. Photo: Frank McGrath/Sportsfile
Dublin defender Eoghan O’Donnell. Photo: Frank McGrath/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Dublin defender Eoghan O'Donnell insists there will be no bad blood if some of those who exiled themselves from the county hurling set-up over the past number of seasons return to the fold under Pat Gilroy.

A number of players decided not to make themselves available in recent years which contributed to a forgettable few seasons under Ger Cunningham.

However, O'Donnell will welcome back anyone who wants to commit to the cause with open arms.

"It does hurt when lads leave," O'Donnell said at the AIG Heroes initiative.

"I'm not going to beat around the bush on that. You do feel a bit let down that they're not pulling (for) the same goal as you. But if lads are saying right now, 'this is my number-one commitment', then I'd be a hundred per cent happy.

"There would be no grudges held or no tension or bad feelings. Clean slate. I think that's the same with management. As long as you're willing to commit to Dublin hurling, you're in their good books as well."

O'Donnell insists the only requirement is to give the team everything for the 2018 campaign.

"The main thing is if lads want to play for Dublin hurling and they want to put the effort in and they are good enough then they will be there.

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"For me personally the want has to be there. You can be sidetracked by college or work or whatever excuse you want to come up with, it has to be your number-one priority in life.

"If lads are happy to do that and even if they haven't played the last couple of years I'm more than happy for them to come back into the panel.

"Playing inter-county for ten or 15 years is a serious commitment and it is not going to suit everyone for their whole life.

"People have to take a break and focus on their career or they want to travel which is absolutely fine. But once they are here in Dublin and willing to play for Dublin that for me is perfectly acceptable."

O'Donnell revealed there has been no contact with the new manager yet but with the Dubs set to travel to Boston next month to play in an Super 11s exhibition, there should be developments on that front soon.

"It's late October so that wouldn't be strange that there wouldn't be any contact but I'd say with the Fenway Park (game) coming up I'd say we'll get together soon enough."

The Whitehall man insists he is looking forward to whatever demands may be placed on the squad next year.

"I'm looking forward to it to be honest, whatever it takes to win is what I'd do. I think there was rumours of six o'clock sessions with the footballers and if that's what it takes I'm all for it."

Irish Independent

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