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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 22 October, 2018
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'Sitting on the bus, I watched it and nearly broke down in tears'

Cuala became the first Dublin club yesterday to win the All-Ireland senior hurling title.

FOR PAUL SCHUTTE, yesterday in Croke Park was a chance to further a tradition started by his hurling heroes.

Schutte’s father was part of a Cuala team that had won Dublin county titles but his sons have surpassed that with last winter’s Leinster triumph and then yesterday becoming the first club from the capital to be crowned All-Ireland senior hurling champions.

Cuala celebrate winning Cuala players celebrate their victory. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“We didn’t want to get caught up in the occasion so we focused a lot on the process. Definitely, now, I can’t wait to look at all those videos.

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

“There was an AIB video with Paul Cahill. Like my heroes growing up, all our uncles, my dad, the Treacys, the Callaghans – just seeing how happy they were, that really touched me.

“Sitting on the bus, I watched it and nearly broke down in tears. So I said that’s enough of that. (It’s) brilliant for the club.”

Getting to play in Croke Park was extra special for Schutte after his recent injury travails.

“We didn’t want to say anything before the match but (I) broke my finger in a friendly game and was told I’d be out for 12 weeks.

“There are a couple of people I have to thank because they looked it up and saw Tommy Bowe had a similar injury and got back after three weeks.

“Barry O’Sullivan and Paul Sullivan, the surgeons, put three pins in my finger about three weeks ago. Luckily it got me through.

“Luckily it got me through. There wasn’t much hurling being done by me there but just delighted to get through it and help the team.

“My first training session was last week. That was my first contact, hitting the ball. I hit a wall ball during the week. When you’re dangled with the golden carrot of an All-Ireland final you find a way to get through.”

The defender had plenty praise for Galway native Mattie Kenny, who has steered them to this success.

“I’ve never met anyone like him, (he) just has the finest details sorted. Here’s just a little story.

“We were going up against Slaughtneil for our warm up and we got the bus up there so we could get an idea.

“He sent a text saying ‘we’ve got cars coming behind just in case the bus breaks down.’ I just can’t speak highly enough of him.

“Getting Con (O’Callaghan) hurling a lot more was definitely a big addition to us as well. A lot of people told us you just get one chance at an All-Ireland.

“Marc Ó Sé said he got one chance, never came back again, so we were really focused on winning this one.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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