Monday 19 March 2018

'We want to beat the best Galway team that they can put out' - Dublin's Conor Dooley

Conor Dooley in action against Clare
Conor Dooley in action against Clare
Frank Roche

Frank Roche

CONOR DOOLEY insists the Dublin hurlers can beat anyone on their day – despite their recent relegation from the Allianz League's top flight.

Ger Cunningham's embattled troops will go in as Leinster SHC underdogs on May 28, not just because of their own spring travails but because of Galway's league final tour de force against Tipperary.

But netminder Dooley, who looks set to start in Tullamore because of Gary Maguire's suspension, is adamant that Dublin's youthful team can mix it with Galway's man mountains.

"I suppose time will tell. I'd like to think we can," he said at today's AIG Heroes event at Bluebell Community Centre.

"We’ve seen flashes throughout the league and even in training this year. When we get going, I think we're capable of beating anyone. But it's whether we show up on the day or not is the real question."

Dooley continued: "At training the standard is high enough. We're just trying to get lads to the pace of it as early as they can coming in.

"As you well know, you're barely out of 21s and you're more or less an experienced player now on the Dublin team. All you can do is try and get lads to get to the pace of the game ASAP, because we don't have time to put in plans for two or three years, to try and build this and build that. We need to get going as soon as we can." 

While the Ballyboden St Enda's clubman was cautiously optimistic about Dublin's Leinster quarter-final, he was suitably impressed by Galway's 3-21 to 0-14 rout of Tipp in the NHL Division 1 decider.

"It was something else, wasn't it? I suppose Galway are a team that, on their day, can beat anyone – and we saw that," he admitted.

"So I wasn't too surprised. They're just obviously in flying form at the moment and are going to try and carry that into the championship. They outskilled Tipp, left them flat on their feet."

For all that, Dooley concluded: "We're confident enough. We'd like to play Galway at their best and we don't want them to have any excuses, being flat after the league or anything. We want to beat the best Galway team that they can put out." 

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