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'He'll get a very united bunch, get everyone together' - What Gilroy can bring to Dublin hurling role

James McCarthy backs his former manager to succeed.

pjimage (1) Dublin's James McCarthy and Pat Gilroy. Source: INPHO

WHEN JAMES MCCARTHY was first drafted on to the Dublin senior football squad, it was Pat Gilroy who recruited him.

In 2010 McCarthy was an All-Ireland U21 winner and within twelve months he had a senior medal to his name under Gilroy’s stewardship.

That was the springboard for McCarthy to prosper and last month he was climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand for the fifth time on All-Ireland final day.

Jim Gavin is the manager he answers to these days but the news of his former boss Gilroy returning to the patrol the inter-county sidelines in the unlikely role of supervising the Dublin hurlers, is something McCarthy believes can be a success for all concerned.

“You heard the rumours a few weeks back but you weren’t really sure was it going to happen.

“It’s a very good appointment I think for the hurlers and I’m sure they’ll be happy with him. I suppose he would have been predominantly known as a football man.

1400899 David McGee, Markets and Strategy Partner, PwC and Aogán Ó’Fearghaíl, GAA President are pictured with Dublin Footballer James McCarthy at PWC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for September. Source: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

“I obviously know from experience he’s a very good manager. He’ll be a good man now with the hurlers. He’ll get a very united bunch, get everyone together, and maybe the guys who are not there at the moment, I reckon they’ll all come back in.

“He makes you want to play. He gets teams very driven and wanting to play for Dublin.”

Gilroy’s ability to co-ordinate a large group will serve him well as he swaps sports.

“From the start he organised and pooled everything really well,” says McCarthy.

“Everyone knew what was going on and that’s half the battle when you’re controlling 35 players and 10 or 15 in the backroom team.

“You need to be able to know everyone’s role and job and he was very good at doing that.”

“I think that can jump across to any sport be it hurling or football. Although they’re different sports, they are very much the same, the same rules in the majority of it so he should be able to cross over no problem about that.

“I’m not sure who’s coming in with him exactly but I’m sure he’ll have hurling skills coaches and stuff to come in and work on that element of the game.

Anthony Cunningham Anthony Cunningham is one of those linked with Gilroy's backroom team. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

 

“Hurling is a massive game for touch and skill so I’m sure there’ll be guys that’ll come in and work on that with the team. Best of luck to them all anyway, I hope they get a good bit of success.”

He’s confident Gilroy can blend together the different groups in Dublin hurling but McCarthy is not seeking for their football squad to be raided.

“I certainly hope not, we’re riding our crest of a wave, keep going for another few years.”

While McCarthy’s inter-county adventure has concluded for 2017, he has another football crown in his sights.

Ballymun Kickhams have been pushing hard to add to their 2012 county senior title and now a semi-final tilt against Kilmacud Crokes beckons on Saturday evening.

James McCarthy with Paddy Andrews James McCarthy in action for Ballymun Kickhams against St Brigid's recently. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“It’s been very tough. Obviously we had the success a few years ago but haven’t got back there yet.

“Obviously we got back to the county final the year after and that was probably even tougher to take than the club final loss because we put so much into getting back. It finished a draw, went to a replay and we lost by a point.

“Add salt into the wounds, Vincent’s went on and win the club All-Ireland. We lost to Vincent’s as well last year, we’d a sending off and playing with 14 men that kind of affected us, just got beat on the line by a point.

“We’re just solely concentrating on Saturday. We’re mad to get back to the final again. We’ve a massive game against Kilmacud.

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