Kettle insists cash not big factor in rise of Dublin hurling
DUBLIN say a special coaching grant they receive and the amount of money they have invested have not been the key factors in their historic Leinster hurling triumph.
Several high-profile pundits, including ex-Offaly star Michael Duignan, believe that there is a direct correlation between senior inter-county success and investment, arguing that it is the counties with the most money that are now likeliest to succeed.
Over the past eight years Dublin have uniquely benefited from over €2m in a special 'coaching' grant from Leinster Council, but county chairman Andy Kettle said this hasn't give the double Leinster champions any huge advantage.
"What has gone into Dublin hurling has gone into clubs through games promotion officers (GPOs) – the amount of money is not huge," he said.
He insisted it is how Dublin spend their money, and the quality of their coaching programmes, that is more important than the amount of cash being thrown at their games.
"There's nothing secretive or extraordinary about the Dublin model," Kettle said.
"What's happening in Dublin can be replicated in other counties but it takes hard work and commitment to do it and the commitment is still at the volunteer level in clubs.
"Yes, there's a professionalism in it as regards the GPOs and development officers, but the real main commitment is still at volunteer level in clubs."
Since 2008 Dublin have received a special payment of around €250,000 a year from Leinster Council for what is called the 'Dublin coaching project'.
This is a special grant that no other county receives but it was still just a fraction of the €4.4m that Leinster Council distributed in 'development' grants in 2012, across all its counties, all of which must also be invested in coaching and equipment.
Dublin have 50 GPOs who are half-funded by the county board and half-funded by the club where they work.
As with many counties some of Dublin's inter-county stars are employed as GPOS – including hurling captain Johnny McCaffrey and his team-mates David O'Callaghan, Niall Corcoran and Simon Lambert.
But Kettle said the notion that there is "some massive investment gone into Dublin hurling," is a bit of a myth.
He said that Dublin had pioneered things like underage development squads in the past 15 years but that they are "probably replicated around the country now.
"We probably started a little earlier and are trying to stay one step ahead of the posse in different things we're doing, but that's the nature of sport," he said.