Thursday 14 December 2017

Daly set to decide on Dublin future after U-21 semi-final

Daly said yesterday that he would inform Dublin officials of his intentions next week. Photo: Brian Lawless / Sportsfile
Daly said yesterday that he would inform Dublin officials of his intentions next week. Photo: Brian Lawless / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Anthony Daly will not commit to Dublin hurling for a third year until after Saturday's Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland U-21 HC semi-final with Galway.

All the indications are that Daly could sign up to a further two years with Dublin, despite the devastation of the qualifier defeat to Antrim last month.

Colm Bonnar, though, is ready to look ahead to a third year in charge of Wexford, though selector Eamonn Scallan may not be with him.

Bonnar oversaw promotion back to Division 1 in May but there were disappointing defeats to Galway and Tipperary in the championship.

Daly said yesterday that he would inform Dublin officials of his intentions next week.

"The full focus is on the Galway game," said Daly, an U-21 selector to manager Richie Stakelum, the reverse of how the pair operate at senior level.

"Hopefully next week I'll be in a better position and I'll talk to them then.".

Under Daly, Dublin's profile has risen and their hurling has undoubtedly improved but losing to Antrim was a bolt from the blue that they found hard to deal with.

The former Clare captain has very strong support to continue from the dressing-room, with corner-back Oisin Gough indicating yesterday that he would love Daly to stay.

"He's an excellent manager and everyone gets on really well with him. He's the right man for the job," said Gough,

"I think (U-21 success) would encourage him. He likes what's coming up through the ranks. He likes the set up at underage and he's very encouraged by it. It's his decision. Whether he feels the seniors are going well enough to stay on for another year, that's another story."

Dublin have been rocked by a devastating sequence of injuries to some of their U-21 stars, while the continued absence of Rory O'Carroll, who is committed to the senior footballers, also blunts their challenge.

In just one week, David Treacy and Shane Stapleton have suffered cruciate ligament injuries that threatened to rip the heart out of he squad.

"Treacy and 'Stap' will be huge losses. They're very unfortunate," said Gough.

"Two cruciates in a week, basically. So the mood in the camp wasn't great, especially after we heard about Shane.

"It was a huge blow. He would be our main free-taker. Treacy would be our main scoring threat. But we just have to soldier on. We have lads pushing to get in so it's going to be a big mix up for the six forwards against Galway."

O'Carroll's loss is also sorely felt by the Cuala man.

"Senior football is always going to take preference for Rory. He has his eyes on the prize -- a senior All-Ireland. What more would you want?" said Gough.

"We knew the team would be shifting around all year. We just weren't expecting so many injuries. Rory was excellent against Kilkenny. He's a big loss at centre-back but lads just have to step up to the plate now and prove their worth."

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