Daly gives Connolly chance to prove he's a chip off the old block
THE son of former Galway All-Ireland-winning captain Joe Connolly looks set to make his competitive debut for Dublin in the Walsh Cup tomorrow night.
Barry Connolly has been impressive for his club Cuala, prompting interest from Dublin manager Anthony Daly.
"We've been having a look at him. He played in recent challenge matches against University of Limerick and Loughgiel Shamrocks and he'll feature against UCD," confirmed Daly.
Paul Schutte, a team-mate of Connolly at Cuala, is still recuperating from a thumb injury which he sustained in a recent challenge game and will be out of action for up to eight weeks.
Two other Cuala players and members of Dublin's 2012 minor team, Cian O'Callaghan and Colm Cronin, are also expected to feature against UCD as Daly seeks to strengthen his squad.
Michael Carton, Danny Sutcliffe, Niall Corcoran, Oisin Gough and former All Star Alan McCrabbe are all likely to sit out Dublin's Walsh Cup campaign due to injuries.
Daly confirmed that McCrabbe is back training with the Leinster champions, but is restricted in what he can do by the hand injury which he sustained playing a football league match last month.
McCrabbe did not return to Dublin training last year when work commitments were cited for his absence. He had featured for the Dublin hurlers as they made their exit to Clare in the 2012 championship in Ennis.
"Alan will offer us great versatility and give us more options around the field," said Daly.
"He's obviously a quality hurler. It was a pity he couldn't get involved last year, but we're happy he's back. He' s only 27, he's mad keen and he hasn't been found wanting in any of the physical training that we have been doing, despite his absence and his injury."
Daly added: "With Simon Lambert probably out for the rest of the season (he sustained a cruciate ligament injury on club duty with Ballyboden St Enda's last autumn), we would have been missing that kind of versatile hurler.
"Simon is probably a July or August project now, but Alan provides us with a real alternative option."
McCrabbe, who won his All Star in 2009, could also provide ample back up to regular Dublin free-taker Paul Ryan.
Meanwhile, Ger O'Loughlin, Daly's former Clarecastle and Clare team-mate, is to take over the managerial reins with Limerick club Kilmallock.
O'Loughlin previously managed Adare and led them to three successive county titles from 2007 to 2009. He spent two years with Clare prior to Davy Fitzgerald's arrival, but returned to Adare for 2012 as they reached the Limerick final which they lost to Kilmallock, before moving across the border to Newtownshandrum in Cork.
Tony Considine, his predecessor in Kilmallock, has taken over Galway club side Turloughmore.