Thursday 23 January 2020

Brady targets new heights with Ryan back in Dubs' fold

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

IT was only back in 2003 that Dublin won their last Walsh Cup, but the landscape of hurling in the county has changed utterly since then.

Back then, Kevin Flynn collected the trophy after the Dubs had managed a rare victory over Kilkenny and his bold acceptance speech hinted at greater things to come for the game in the capital.

The interim hasn't gone quite to plan, but the fact that Dublin will field a side against Tipperary in a challenge today and a completely different team against Galway in tomorrow's Walsh Cup decider -- and will be competitive in both -- is a measure of how far they've come.

A first Leinster final appearance since 1991 and falling just short of an All-Ireland semi-final place after defeat to Limerick last year, made for a very satisfactory start to Anthony Daly's reign but full-back Tomas Brady agrees that this year will bring a new set of challenges.

"I suppose it's up to us this year to improve somewhat more, now that teams know what to expect coming up against us. With the standard being set from last year, we know ourselves that we can reach attainable goals," he said.

Dubs have targeted a League final appearance for the early part of their season and after the experience garnered from last year, Brady expects them to perform better on the big days to come.

Brady, who is on colleges duty with DIT this weekend, believes the squad has strengthened considerably since last year and hailed the acquisition of Shane Ryan from the football squad.

"His experience in the dressing-room is a great benefit," he said. "On the pitch, his physical strength is a huge asset to us because we wouldn't be blessed with big forwards so he's obviously brought that to us."

Galway manager John McIntyre will be without the Portumna contingent as the Walsh Cup match is a curtain raiser to their All- Ireland club semi-final clash with Dunloy, but David Collins could feature at some stage after an injury-ravaged two years.

Irish Independent

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