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Dublin link for Kilkenny's 'Cha'


Five-time All-Ireland winner James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick

Five-time All-Ireland winner James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick

Five-time All-Ireland winner James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick

The retirement of James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick from inter-county hurling has raised speculation that he may commit to the Dublin hurlers at some point in the future.

Fitzpatrick announced his retirement yesterday at the age of 26, citing a lack of opportunity as the reason behind his decision.

But inevitably a potential move to Dublin, where he lives and works as a teacher, will be floated in the coming season.

He has committed to going travelling next summer but beyond that, the persuasive powers of manager Anthony Daly and the desire to rise to a new challenge at the top level could entice him into a blue jersey.

Dublin have already benefited from the arrival of Ryan O'Dwyer from Tipperary, Niall Corcoran from Galway and Maurice O'Brien from Limerick.

In the 1990s two former Kilkenny players, James Brennan and Eamonn Morrissey, both transferred to the capital and made an impact.

Fitzpatrick was Kilkenny's All-Ireland-winning captain in 2008 and was one of the most intelligent hurlers in his prime, especially when he switched to midfield.

He was disappointed not to have made the Kilkenny team in 2011, despite the effort he put in.

"No matter what I did in training last year, no matter how well I played, it didn't seem like I'd get a go at all," he said. "If I was to go back next year I'd find the motivation very hard because deep down inside I felt that no matter what I did in training it didn't seem like I was going to be picked.

"Personally, I thought I was flying in training, I was very fit but didn't get the call. But Brian's (Cody) decision was vindicated because Kilkenny won and I can't really complain. "

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Fitzpatrick will continue to play with his club, Ballyhale Shamrocks, for the foreseeable future.

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