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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 22 June, 2018

'There’s a process ongoing' - Ger Cunningham expects a third year in charge of the Dubs

Cunningham says the aim for next year is for Dublin to reach their first All-Ireland semi-final since 2013.

GER CUNNINGHAM HAS confirmed that he plans to remain in charge of the Dublin senior hurlers in 2017.

Bord Gáis Energy U21 Hurling Championship All-Ireland Semi-Final Media Day Source: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

The Cork native was appointed on a three-year term in the winter of 2014 and expects to see out his tenure in charge of the Sky Blues.

“Not a huge amount [is happening] at the moment,” Cunningham said yesterday. “We had a chat but between holidays on my side and on the lads’s side of it, we’ll meet up again in a couple of weeks time.

“They’re focusing on the Under 21s and that sort of the thing. So by the end of the month, we’ll meet up again.

“It’s just there’s a process ongoing. It’s like anything. In any game, you just review what happened this year.

“You review the two seasons and see where we’re going to go. But the plan would be to…when all that is in order, what all that is sorted out, it will be in place.”

Dublin had a mixed year, beating Wexford in the Leinster championship before defeats to Kilkenny and Cork ended their season. There has been plenty of change in the Dublin side, as Cunningham has introduced a number of youngsters into the starting lineup.

“I suppose like anything, your first year in, you nearly inherit a panel. I suppose not knowing the setup and the players when you go in first, you nearly look at the previous years panel and work with them.

“We are heading into year three. It’s changing, there are younger players coming through all the time. That’s the same in any team, you are always trying to add.

“The younger guys have put their hands up to be selected and have come in and made the transition from Under-21 to senior. We are looking across the board, not just at Under-21s, we are looking at the club scene as well.”

Ger Cunningham Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cunningham says there haven’t been any retirements, but no word yet if the likes of Joey Boland or Danny Sutcliffe will return. Making their first semi-final since 2013 is the aim now, according to the Dublin boss.

“That’s the challenge and that’s the plan. That’s what we need to do. You saw how good last weekend was. The work that is needed to get in there is difficult and it’s hard. The standard is very high across the board, fitness and skill levels and all of that.

“We were top six in the league. We didn’t get into the top six this year compared to last year but you see the games last Sunday and how close they were. There was nothing between those teams. They are the top four teams on paper. They are the top four teams in the bookies when the bets are down for an All-Ireland.

“They have been the top four all year. Then you have Clare, Limerick, ourselves, Cork, Wexford and that. On any given day we’d hope to be competitive. We were for 35 minutes against Kilkenny but on any given day to be competitive against all the rest of the teams that are there.

“It’s like anything, you can over-emphasise style and tactics and that kind of stuff. We worked on trying to be consistent all year. To be consistent in every match, that’s what we have to do.

“So that when you get into a situation with tight games against teams Kilkenny, who are so good at closing out matches, that you are consistent all the time. That’s the challenge that’s there for us.”

Ger Cunningham was speaking at the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Hurling Championship All Ireland Semi-Finals Media Day in Croke Park.

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Kevin O'Brien

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